Step 3: Make a Plan

Step 3 involves making a family plan. The idea behind this step is that in an emergency you and your family may not all be together. Your children may be at school, your spouse at work, and if an event were to happen you will need to have an established plan of action and a way of communication so you will know that your loved ones are safe. Making a plan is relatively simple; it is basically a way for everyone in your family to be on the same page in an emergency so that everyone is safe no matter what the situation. Below you will find several guides to making an effective family plan.
  • Shelter in Place – This is a guide to the 'shelter in place,' a kind of plan where you may be asked to stay indoors during a hazardous material emergency. This guide was created by the American Red Cross.
  • – This website contains a well-organized list of step-by-step instructions for making a family emergency plan. It can help you decide how to handle emergencies in several different environments (e.g., a high-rise apartment vs. a house), as well as help you decide when it is safer to leave or stay at home. This website was created by the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Family Emergency Plan Template – This is a printable family emergency plan with space to add a variety of contact and emergency information, as well as a sheet you can divide up for individual family members so that all important information is with them at all times.
    • Planning for a Disease Outbreak – This is a website dedicated to planning for a widespread disease outbreak like pandemic flu. This website is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.