Developing a Family Emergency Plan

Advance planning and quick action are the keys to surviving a tornado. Devise an emergency tornado plan and make sure every family member knows where to go and what to do.

Designate an area in the home as a shelter and conduct tornado drills before each tornado season. Discuss the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

Develop a communication plan in case family members are separated – at work, school or shopping – when a tornado occurs. Decide on a meeting place where you will meet as soon as possible after the storm has passed.


Ask an out-of-town or out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family check-in contact." After a disaster, it is sometimes easier to call long distance than to make local calls. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the family check-in contact. If separated, family members should call their check-in contact as soon as possible to report their condition and location.

Implement the plan

Post emergency and check-in contact telephone numbers by phones.Be sure children know how and when to dial 911 or local Emergency Medical Service.Install safety features such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in the house. Place important family documents in a waterproof container or a safety deposit box.

  • Learn CPR and first aid.
  • Learn how and where to turn off water, gas, and electricity to your home.
  • Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit

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