Creating and following an emergency communications plan is an essential component of disaster preparedness. As part of National Preparedness Month, the Indiana State Department of Health has launched a “30 Days, 30 Ways to Prepare” campaign.
The campaign provides daily tips categorized into a weekly theme for the month of September. The third week’s theme is focused on the importance of writing an emergency communications plan and what the plan should include.
When creating an emergency communications plan, keep the following things in mind:
- Choose two meeting locations. Choose a meeting place right outside the home for household emergencies, such as a fire, and choose a second meeting place outside of the neighborhood, in the event of a large-scale disaster.
- Choose an emergency contact person who lives out of state. One of the first things to stop working after a disaster is cellular service. Sometimes the only call that goes out is the one going to someone three states away.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1.
- Practice your plan. Practice fire, earthquake and tornado drills at home with family members. Every three to six months, drive your evacuation route; plot which roads will be taken in the event of closures.
Once the plan is created, educate family members about what it says, where the emergency supply kit is kept and what each person’s role will be in the event of a disaster.
To view the daily preparedness tips, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.StateHealth.in.gov.
For more information about National Preparedness Month, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at http://www.ready.gov/.