Be ready for disaster with an emergency checklist

While it’s impossible to anticipate the unknown, one of the best ways to get your family ready for a disaster is to prepare an emergency checklist. Writing down a plan of action is a great way to be better prepared for an unexpected and dangerous situation, such as a fire, flood or other natural disaster.

Below, we’ve pulled together recommendations from emergency-planning experts, including the American Red Cross, about the types of items that should make your family’s emergency checklist.

  • Medical history and medication requirements for each family member.
  • Treatment contingency plan for any family member’s special needs, such as having a backup generator in case power is needed to operate medical equipment.
  • Contact information for neighbors and professionals (both local and out-of-state) whom your family knows well.
  • Response plan for power outages and injuries.
  • Home floor plan with two escape routes per room as well as safe spots inside the building for different types of disasters.
  • Names of emergency meeting places to visit if separated during a crisis. For a fire, the location should be near your home; for a disaster that would prevent you from returning home, the location should be outside your neighborhood.