20 Days to Ready is a series of simple, daily tasks to help you better prepare for emergencies and protect your family when disaster strikes. Follow along, day by day, and you’ll be more ready (for just about anything) in a few short weeks.
ASSIGNMENT: Create a Family Communication Plan
When there’s a disaster, you may be well aware that you’re safe and taken care of, but chances are, you have family and friends who are worried sick.
Here are a few ideas from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of things you can do now — before an emergency happens — to help make sure your family knows how to get in contact in an emergency:
- Designate an out-of-area family member or friend as the household’s main emergency contact. FEMA says a contact who doesn’t live in the same area may have better lines of communication than family members in the affected area; disseminate this person’s phone number and email address to each member of the household.
- Program the contact person’s phone number into each family member’s cellphone contacts list. Rather than listing the person’s name, you can program the contact’s number with the “ICE,” which stands for “in case of emergency.” Many emergency responders are trained to check cellphones for an “ICE” contact when someone is injured and unable to use their phone. (This can also help in situations that happen away from home).
- Teach everyone in your family how to send and receive text messages. FEMA says that texts can sometimes get through when cellular networks are overloaded (which often happens during an emergency) and voice calls can’t.
No matter what crisis you’re facing, communication can be key for your protection and peace of mind.
Click here to follow along with more “20 Days to Ready” emergency preparedness tasks.
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