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Make A Plan

Important things to consider in an emergency family plan:

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.

Contacts:

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. Ask an out-of-state friend to be your family out of town contact. After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. 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.

Other Plans in Place:

Find out what disaster plans are in place at your work, your children's school and other places your family spends time. Discuss preparedness with your family. Make sure you all understand what types of disasters can occur and what you will do in each case.

Escape routes:

Determine two escape routes from each room in your home

Meeting Places:

Pick three places to meet: in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire. Decide a location in your neighborhood and lastly, a regional meeting place in case you can't return home.

Children:

Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 and other emergency numbers including fire, police, ambulance, etc. Post these numbers near phones in your home.

Fire Safety:

Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms and make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it.

First-Aid:

Learn basic first aid skills, including CPR.

Insurance:

Make sure your family has adequate insurance.

Preparing and Planning for Individuals with Special Needs:

If you or someone close to you has a disability or a special need, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency. The State of Utah offers individuals and organizations the opportunity to sign up for a voluntary Special Needs Registry to help emergency managers plan according to specific needs of their communities.

Utah Special Needs Registry

Disability/Special Need
Additional Steps
Visually impaired May be extremely reluctant to leave familiar surroundings when the request for evacuation comes from a stranger. A guide dog could become confused or disoriented in a disaster. People who are blind or partially sighted may have to depend on others to lead them, as well as their dog, to safety during a disaster.
Hearing impaired May need to make special arrangements to receive warnings.
Mobility impaired May need special assistance to get to a shelter.
Single working parent May need help to plan for disasters and emergencies.
Non-English speaking persons May need assistance planning for and responding to emergencies. Community and cultural groups may be able to help keep people informed.
People without vehicles May need to make arrangements for transportation.
People with special dietary needs Should take special precautions to have an adequate emergency food supply.
People with medical conditions Should know the location and availability of more than one facility if dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
People with intellectual disabilities May need help responding to emergencies and getting to a shelter.
People with dementia Should be registered in the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return Program

If you have special needs: Find out about special assistance that may be available in your community. Register with the office of emergency services or the local fire department for assistance so needed help can be provided.

Check for hazards in the home

During and right after a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause fire is a home hazard. Check for items such as bookcases, hanging pictures, or overhead lights that could fall in an earthquake or a flood and block an escape path.

Be ready to evacuate

Have a plan for getting out of your home or building (ask your family or friends for assistance, if necessary). Also, plan two evacuation routes because some roads may be closed or blocked in a disaster.

  • Create a network of neighbors, relatives, friends, and coworkers to aid you in an emergency. Discuss your needs and make sure everyone knows how to operate necessary equipment.
  • Discuss your needs with your employer.
  • If you are mobility impaired and live or work in a high-rise building, have an escape chair.
  • If you live in an apartment building, ask the management to mark accessible exits clearly and to make arrangements to help you leave the building.
  • Keep specialized items ready, including extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, prescriptions, food for service animals, and any other items you might need.
  • Be sure to make provisions for medications that require refrigeration.
  • Keep a list of the type and model numbers of the medical devices you require.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify your disability.
  • Know the location and availability of more than one facility if you are dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.

Download: Emergency Family Plan

Download: Emergency Family Plan - Wallet Size

Download: Disaster Preparedness for Seniors

Utah Special Needs Registry