Do You Have a Family Emergency Plan?

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Do you have a Family Emergency Plan? September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and the Park Forest Fire Department wants to help you develop a plan in the event of an emergency.

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance how you will contact one another, how your will get back together and what you will do in different situations.

Develop a Communications Plan

  • Identify an out-of-town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
  • Teach family members not to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
  • Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management website. In Illinois, visit: http://www.state.il.us/iema/.

Planning to Stay or Go

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information to determine if there is an immediate danger.

Emergency Information

Find out what kind of disasters, both natural and man-made are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention varies from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.

Emergency Plan

Use the new Online Family Emergency Planning Tool created by Ready Campaign in conjunction with the Ad Council to prepare a printable Comprehensive Family Emergency Plan by visiting: http://ready.adcouncil.org/beprepared/fep/index.isp.

Use the new Quick Share application to help your family in assembling a quick reference list of contact information for your family, and a meeting place for emergency situations by visiting: http://ready.adcouncil.org/beprepared/quickshare.ht.

You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time, such as, work, daycare, and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.

For more information, visit: www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/focus/.

Source: Park Forest Police Department