No one wants to think about disasters or bad things happening, but it is always better to be prepared if you can. The Red Cross and FEMA both recommend you and your family have a plan in case of an emergency. Our family has a simple binder with all of the information printed and gathered in one place so that anyone we choose can be directed to it in case of an emergency.
In the book, you should have several sections that could include:
Home - List all of the information about your house, including a picture. Include all of the necessary contact information for insurance and repair companies as well as contact information for neighbors. It is also helpful to list the phone numbers for the electric and gas companies so that you have it in case of an outage or a leak.
Family - Each person should have their own information sheet with their picture and anything that could be needed in case of an emergency, including medications, allergies, and blood type. Your children’s schools or daycare should make their emergency plan available, and you can print and include it here.
For anyone with special needs, be sure to come up with a plan to make sure accommodations have been worked out and what those are. Check if your state to see if it has a special needs registry that is used by emergency responders to identify where those with special needs are and what extra help they might need.
Pets- With a picture of your pet, list all of the information you can to identify your pet. Include their microchip number, vaccine information, their vet information, and any local resources you can think of. You can also lookup if there are any pet-friendly shelters near you or pet-friendly hotels, and have their information included so you can easily access it if you need a place to stay in a pinch.
Emergency communication and evacuation plan - In this section, you want to list all of your family phone numbers, including a contact that lives out of your area that has agreed to be your emergency contact. You will want to establish gathering places for your family that are inside your home, directly outside of your home, in your neighborhood and outside your area.
Your city or state should have a disaster plan that you can become familiar with and include in your booklet. If you commute, you may want to add a commuter emergency plan and what alternative methods that could be traveled.
Hopefully, you will never need to use this resource, but knowing it is there could provide great peace of mind.