Communication is vital to your family’s safety when disaster strikes. 

Make sure that your family’s emergency plan includes a communication plan, a plan for reuniting and a plan for what to do in different situations.  Create your own or download and print a plan template at

Create a Plan

Your communication plan should include contact information for family members and/or close friends in your community, as well as a nearby neighbor.  You should also establish an out-of-town contact.  You might also include contact information for schools, work, medical contacts and insurance information.

Designate Meeting Places

Choose a spot in your neighborhood where family members can gather if your home must quickly be evacuated.  Designate another location in the community to go to if family members are away from home and unable to gather at your neighborhood meeting place.  Include these on your plan.

Distribute Your Plan

Make copies of your plan and give it to everyone on your list, with instructions to keep the plan with them at all times, in a purse, wallet or backpack.  Place copies in your vehicles’ glove boxes and in your home and emergency kits.  Emphasize with everyone the need to contact one another as soon as it is safe and possible after a disaster strikes. 

Practice Your Plan

Once you have completed your plan, it’s time to practice! Practice texting and calling all contacts on your list. Practice gathering all family members at your designated meeting places and discuss how each person would get there.  After you practice, talk about how it went.  What worked well? What can be improved? What information, if any, needs to be updated?  If you do make updates, remember to print new copies of the plan for everyone.