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Individual and Family Preparedness

Preparing for emergency situations can be overwhelming. Take it one step at a time. Remember, most emergencies require one of two responses: staying or going. Be prepared to shelter in place or to evacuate. Have supplies or needed medications for you and your household for up to three days. 

Basic Emergency Plan

  • Emergency contact person. Know the contact information for an out-of-town or out-of-state contact person. This person knows she or he is your emergency contact. Test regularly.
  • List of key contact information. Create or update a list of important contact information (i.e. information may be entered in a phone or computer, but it is also available to all household members in wallets, cars, purses, etc.).
  • Backup communications. Discuss alternate strategies for reaching each other if phones or cell phones are not working. Plan at least two backup strategies.
  • Meeting locations. Identify meeting locations if you have to leave quickly, or if you cannot return home. Designate one location outside or near your home and a second location away from your neighborhood. Map a primary route and an alternate route.
  • Important documents. Store copies of identification and other documentation in a sealed container with your supplies. Consider placing paper or electronic copies with a trusted relative or friend.
  • Evacuation plan. Plan for leaving your home or the area quickly, whether you are at home at the time of the evacuation or not. Document at least two evacuation destinations and two routes for reaching each. Plan a backup method of transportation. Don't forget to have an emergency evacuation kit with needed supplies or medications.
  • Shelter-in-place plan. Plan for staying safe at home for an extended period of time. Identify the safest places in your home or building. Know how to turn off utilities and seal or close vents. Store extra food, water, medicines or hygiene supplies, if you can.
  • Review and practice. Test your plans regularly. Find out if they work well for you, modify as needed. Update or upgrade your supplies twice per year.

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Washtenaw County Public Health has developed a checklist to help you make a family emergency plan.

Helpful Resources

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