Family Preparedness-Why We Should Plan For It Now?

Family Preparedness-Why We Should Plan for it Now?

Sharon K. Lobb, M.A. President/CEO Primed!, LLC  4/10/2020

We are in an international pandemic and socially isolated, so that means we are already in a disaster but I want you to focus on Family Preparedness–Now!

  • Your family is most likely home and your extended family is probably available for questions (more on this later in my family communication planning tab)
  • You know a disaster can actually happen (many people live in denial that it could happen to them) because we are in a National Disaster state now.
  • You know whether or not you were prepared for this particular disaster. Be honest with yourself. Most prepared businesses and the various levels of government were not prepared for the magnitude of this disaster but hospitals, emergency managers, health departments and agencies and first responders have all had some level of training and lots of planning sessions in preparedness for a pandemic-those initial plans allowed lives to be saved and lessened the learning curve for the decision makers. So, it is okay to think that you could have been better prepared-you are in good company for sure!
  • Having a plan and a kit saves lives and mitigates the effects of disaster and helps you and yours recover faster.
  • During a state of chaos, communication may be strained, you may not get all the facts and you will need to be able to adapt as guidance from the government or the situation dictates.
  • If you are prepared at home, you will teach children to be prepared and not so scared.
  • Your family will know the plan and if appropriate, they can participate in the planning so they have buy-in and the ability to initiate or follow the plan in your absence.
  • You have the time and fewer distractions so there are no barriers to you properly planning, documenting the plan and rehearsing the plan with your family.

There are many parts to emergency planning for a family, no matter the size of your family. You will need to be sure to do these plans to form a comprehensive family plan—resources are free from your local government, various charities and the federal government at www.Ready.Gov   Resources are also provided on my webpage,  for you for free.  I am a consultant, why would I give you these resources for free?  It is that important that you and your family be ready for virtually everything to ensure that your family, your community and the nation are more resilient and less reliant on limited resources that should go to those without means or are vulnerable in that particular situation.  Please be sure that your preparedness plans include

Communication Plan-who will you call (include 911 and actual phone numbers in case your phone is not available) in the event of an emergency.  Know how and where you can get information from your local government (Social Media, Website, etc.).  Make sure all phones allow for emergency notifications. See

Family Preparedness Kit- Plan for your entire household being self-sufficient for 72 hours without leaving your home.  Plan for all types of emergencies but try to keep your kit to a manageable size so that you can move it if need be. Include things that will help children be less stressed. Have a plan for how you will rotate the stock so that batteries and food/water are fresh when you need them. Consider a generator- I highly recommend a portable/solar/lithium battery one because gas generators need to be ventilated properly (many deaths are attributed to poor ventilation) and fuel must be on hand and someone must exit the house to refuel it.

Financial—cash in smaller bills is appropriate in most disasters involving a power outage.  The amount is a personal decision but I recommend enough to feed your family/pets and/or get a hotel room for the night.

Evacuation Plan:

  • How to evacuate the house
  • Where to meet up
  • How to evacuate the area or region and if separated, who to contact outside of your region


Shelter-In-Place Plan (weather event, hazard materials incident, terrorism, active shooter)

  • Identify a “place of refuge” in your home that is structurally sound and without windows.
  • Have access to your kit and communication plan
  • Have access to local gov’t information (TV/Radio/Cell)
  • Have phone chargers

Pet Care Plan

  • Microchip your pets if possible as many are found and returned

    Dog looking for injured people in ruins after earthquake.  Could you find your dog if they were lost during a disaster?

  • How will you evacuate your pet(s)
    • Shelters require you to stay in a shelter that accepts pets and pet is required to be in a kennel outside
    • Food
    • Water
    • Toys, chew things
    • Bed/blanket
    • Leash if applicable
    • Some way to find your pet in the dark if they break loose (stressed)
    • Where can you take your pet if your house becomes uninhabitable?