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The information on this page is adapted from the Ready Campaign.

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

Family Emergency Plan

  • Text first, talk second. Making a phone call places a much greater burden on cellular networks than texting, and text messages are more likely to go through during periods of telephone network congestion.
  • 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 coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
  • You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
  • Alternative communications methods may still work, even if phone lines are down or overwhelmed. Computer-based instant messaging and email are less likely to become overwhelmed. SMS text messaging on cellphones may still work even if you can’t place a cellular phone call.