Creating an Emergency Plan

What to Do if Disaster Strikes

If the disaster occurs near you, be prepared to give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.

  • Be alert for the odor of gas. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, contact the fire department by calling 911.
  • Call your family contact, do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Check for fires, electrical and other household hazards. Be aware that spilled bleaches, gasoline and other liquids may produce deadly fumes when chemicals mix, or be a fire hazard.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
  • If the emergency occurs while you are at home, check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light candles or matches or turn on electrical switches.
  • Make plans for your pets if you need to evacuate. Do not leave them outside.
  • Shut off utilities if able to do so safely. Know in advance how to shut off all utility valves or switches.

If Children are in School During an Emergency

Check with school administration to identify the emergency plan specific to your children's school. Check the local media for announcements about changes in school openings and closings. For older children who drive themselves, ask them to follow the instructions of local authorities.

Look to Your Neighbors

Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Know your neighbors’ skills and consider how you can help neighbors with special needs, such as the elderly, or disabled. Make plans for child care in case parents cannot get home.

Additional Information