Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. 

Step 1: Discuss these 4 questions

1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

2. What is my shelter plan?

3. What is my evacuation route?

4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2: Consider specific needs

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out an emergency plan

Click the buttons below to download a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.


Step 4: Practice

It is important to practice your plan with your family/household. 

Before the Storm

Be prepared. Put together an emergency plan and communicate it will all family members. Learn your community hurricane evacuation routes. Below is a list of items that are essential during an emergency situation. 

Water – at least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days

Food – at least enough for each person for three to seven days.

  • Non-perishable foods
  • Food for infants, elderly, and persons with dietary restrictions
  • Manual can opener
  • Peanut butter, crackers, granola bars, and cookies
  • Disposable plates, cups, utensils and paper towels.

First Aid Kit

  • Scissors, tweezers, safety pins
  • Gloves, band-aids, non-prescription drugs, soap
  • Medications

Personal and Safety Items

  • Blankets/Pillows, etc.
  • Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • Flashlight/batteries
  • Radio – battery powered weather radio
  • Cash
  • Toiletries
  • Important Documents
  • Full tank of gas
  • Pet food and supplies

For Babies

  • Diapers
  • Medications
  • Formula
  • Bottles


During the Storm

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information, if possible. Avoid using the phone unless there is an emergency.
  • Make sure to get inside a building and stay away from windows.
  • Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials. Make sure to keep children away from open flames.
  • Don’t open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary.
  • Remove objects from walls such as pictures and move furniture away from doors and windows.
  • Bring in furniture from outside. Turnover and tie down outdoor objects too large to move.

After the Storm

  • STAY AWAY from downed power lines. Always treat them as if they are energized and dangerous. Make sure to call 911 and Clarke-Washington EMC at 1-800-323-9081.
  • Debris from the storm can hide power lines that have fallen. Fallen trees that contain energized power lines can electrocute any item it comes in contact with. Even the ground can be energized near fallen power lines.
  • If your electricity is out, make sure to check your neighbors to see if they have power. If they have power, you may have blown a fuse or tripped a breaker.

Returning Home After a Hurricane

  • Listen to local officials for information and special instructions.

  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.

  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.

  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.

  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.

  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.