Family Disaster Plan
Families should be prepared for all hazards that could affect their area. The National Weather Service and Wisconsin Emergency Management urge every family to develop a family disaster plan.
Where will your family be when disaster strikes? They could be anywhere - at work, at school, or in the car. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children are safe? Disaster may force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services - water, gas, electricity, or telephone—were cut off?
Put together a family disaster plan that answers those questions - and practice it.
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
- Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash and credit card
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
Recommended items for first aid kits for a family of four include the following:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
- N95 or surgical masks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags (1 per person)
Evacuating vs. Shelter-In-Place
When should someone evacuate versus sheltering-in-place?
- Local officials are the best source of information when determining whether to evacuate or shelter-in-place. In the event of an emergency, individuals should listen to their radios and follow the directions of the emergency officials.
- In general, sheltering-in-place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek immediate protection in your home, place of employment, school or other location when disaster strikes.
- People should take steps to prepare in advance in case local officials direct you to evacuate. This includes having a disaster supply kit that is portable and can be taken with you.
In certain emergencies, it’s best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty and/or create a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may also want to “seal the room”.
- Bring your family and pets inside. You can use your whole house or just a couple rooms. Make sure you choose an area that has a telephone, water, a toilet, and someplace you can seal off easily. A bedroom is an excellent choice.
- Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
- Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced-air heating systems.
- Take your Emergency Supply Kit into an interior room with few windows.
- Seal all windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if necessary
- Watch TV, listen to the radio or check the internet often for official news and instructions as they become available. Wait for the all clear signal before you move outside.
In emergencies when you are ordered to leave or you decide to get away, plan how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go. You should choose several destinations in different directions so you have options.
Creating an Evacuation Plan:
- Plan places to meet within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
- Keep a half tank of gas in your car at all times in case you need to evacuate.
- Familiarize yourself with alternate routes out of your area.
- If you don’t have a car, plan other means of transportation.
- Take your Emergency Supply Kit with you.
- Lock the doors behind you.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters.
For more information on being prepared please see Ready Wisconsin