Hold a family meeting and keep it simple. Emphasise working together as a team during these times.

Include information such as:

  • What would happen if you live in a flood prone area and your home is at risk from storm tide or fire is a constant threat – what would you do?
  • What would you do if were separated from family or friends in a disaster (you’re at work or school etc.)? How will you stay in touch and where will you meet up?
  • What would happen if you need to evacuate your household? Where would you go?
  • What would you do if you needed to contact someone for assistance? What emergency contact phone numbers should be listed (don’t rely on your mobile phone – the battery might be flat)?
  • What would you do if a disaster happened tomorrow? What is everyone’s role in preparing?

 Prepare a Household Emergency Plan using the following guidelines

  • Meet with your family and explain the need for a Family Disaster Plan. Explain to all members, including children, the likely threats and the dangers of each.
  • Explain to each family member what he or she should do during a disaster event.
  • As a family locate a safe place in your house to shelter for each type of hazard.
  • Designate a friend or relatives house as an alternative shelter if a member of your family is unable to make it home when a hazard threatens or you are not allowed to return to your house due to an evacuation of your area. This should also be the place you self evacuate to in the event your area has to be evacuated. All family members should know the name of the occupants, their address and telephone number. If you have pets ensure that you can bring your pets as well.
  • Develop an emergency communications plan. In the event that family members become separated, as can happen with the swift onset of an event such as flooding during the day when parents are to work and children at school, have a plan for getting back together.
  • Arrange for an out of town relative or friend to be your family contact point. This is the person, living well away from you, who you will contact to provide information on how you have fared during the disaster and the condition of the family. This person will then inform all other relatives and friends of your situation. They also become the focal point for inquiries as to your welfare from others.
  • Make sure every family member has a clear idea of what will be required if an evacuation notice is issued. What they must do and what the family must do to make their way to safety.
  • Produce check-lists of action to take in preparation for specific disaster events.
  • Place emergency telephone numbers clearly near the phone. Teach children to ring 000 in an emergency.
  • Create an Emergency Kit.
  • Document your Family Disaster Plan and practice it with the whole family.

Making a plan is easy! Use the Get Ready Queensland template shown below:

Practice and maintain your plan

Ensure the family has a good understanding of the Household Emergency Plan and practice the plan on a regular basis.

Go over the family plan and do escape drills. Quiz the children and remember to replace stored food and water on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to replace the batteries in smoke alarms, torches, radio’s and other electronic equipment that may be necessary during a disaster at least every 12 months.

It is also important to meet with your neighbours to plan how you can work together during a disaster.

Talk about who has special skills (medical, technical, building) and also make arrangements for children if parents can’t get home.

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