Establish a Family Emergency Communication Plan

September is National Preparedness Month, serving as a reminder for us all to take action now, and throughout the year to prepare for various emergencies which could affect us at any time. "Don't Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today" is the theme of this years' National Preparedness Month. As Floridians, we realize the threat of a storm or natural disaster is not a matter of if, but when. As such, it is essential for the safety of you and your family to create an emergency communication and evacuation plan.

Preparing your family for an emergency can be, and is, as simple as a conversation at the dinner table. Get started with FEMA's three steps for creating a family emergency and evacuation plan:

1. Create a paper copy of every family members' contact information along with information for important people and offices, such as doctors, schools, medical facilities, and close family friends. Also, establish a Disaster Preparedness Plan; this plan should include escape routes from every room in the house, locations to meet up outside the house, and how you would contact your family members during and after an emergency.

2. Share the contact information with all family members. Be sure each family member has a copy in his or her wallet, backpack, or purse. It is also suggested to post a copy of your emergency plan in a central location of your home.

3. Review the contact information with your family, and hold regular household meetings to practice your evacuation plans.

If you complete your Family Emergency Communication Plan online, you can print the information onto wallet-sized cards for the convenience of you and your family. We encourage you to visit our blog throughout the month for more tips and tools in recognition of National Preparedness Month.

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