Make a Family Communication Plan

Creating your Family Emergency Communication Plan starts with one simple question: “What if?”

  • “What if something happens and I’m not with my family?”
  • “Will I be able to reach them?”
  • “How will I know they are safe?”
  • “How can I let them know I’m OK?”

During a disaster, you will need to send and receive information from your family.

Communication networks, such as mobile phones and computers, could be unreliable during disasters, and electricity could be disrupted. Planning in advance will help ensure that all the members of your household—including children and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, as well as outside caregivers—know how to reach each other and where to meet up in an emergency. Planning starts with three easy steps:

Out-of-State ContactDuring or following a disaster local cell service may become challenged. You may have more luck contacting someone out of state.

Be sure to include contact information for an out of state contact. If all else fails try texting.


Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family and other important people/offices, such as medical facilities, doctors, schools, or service providers.


Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. If you complete your Family Emergency Communication Plan online at, you can print it onto a wallet-sized card. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.


Have regular household meetings to review and practice your plan.

Click here to start your Family Communication Plan