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Create a Family Emergency Plan
1. Choose two emergency contacts.
These people will help reunite your family if you're separated. An out-of-town emergency contact may not be affected by the emergency and can help make sure you're all OK. A local emergency contact can help you with tasks such as picking up your child from child care.
Help your child remember your contacts' names. Every once in a while if you see one of your contacts, talk to that person by phone or e-mail, or spot him or her in a photograph, you might say something to your child like, "It's Aunt Sandi! Did you know her whole name is Sandra Gold? She's one of the people who will help us if there's an emergency."
2. Select an emergency meeting place.
This is the safe place where your family will meet if you can't get home during an emergency. Pick a child-friendly place that's open late, such as a grocery store. If your child is with a caregiver during an emergency, it is safest for him to stay with that person until you can get to him. Talk to your child's caregivers: Is there an evacuation place where they'll meet up with parents?
Remind your child of your meeting place. From time to time, you might say, "Look, there's the store we'll take you to if there's an emergency. We'll all meet there."
3. Reach out to your community.
Friends, neighbors, and emergency workers are your neighborhood helpers. Show your child that these trusted adults are people he can go to for help in an emergency. Take a trip together to fire and police stations to talk about the many important ways these people help. Or on a doctor's visit, talk to nurses and doctors about how they take care of people who are sick or hurt.
4. Prepare for specific risks in your area.
Contact your local fire station, emergency management office, or public safety office to learn how to prepare for specific risks in your area. For instance, if you live in an area where tornadoes are more likely to happen, you might be told to use your basement as your meeting place. Investigate local emergency plans, such as your area's evacuation route, in case there is a major emergency and you need to leave the area completely.