If you haven’t got one already NOW is the time to get your Family Emergency Plan in place. If you have one then its time to check everything and make sure it’s up to date. This is a very quick overview for creating a basic family plan.
What is a Family Emergency Plan?
At the very basic it is two parts, meeting locations and communications. The first part is a list of where everyone works and goes to school. It includes the street address, the physical location to include GPS coordinates. It includes contact phone numbers, landlines and fax lines. If it is an office building it includes the exact floor and room number where you work and a description of where the office is located. It includes the location of all the exits, normal ones and emergency exits. If there is a security or communications office, it includes that contact information as well.
You should also include maps. The maps should show routes (that is multiple routes) from your house to the office or school. There should also be detailed maps around the building. You can get these from zooming in with Google maps, make regular and satellite view copies. Your plan should also include a name for each location, such as “location 1” so it is shorter and easier to reference in an emergency.
You should do the same for any family or trusted friends that you might have arranged to exfiltrate (EXFIL) to or from. If you have trusted friends that might be able to exfil you if something goes really bad then supply them a copy of your plan.
The Communications Plan
If you have done part 1 then the first part of the communications plan is almost done. You need to have a list of phone numbers. Not only of all the places mentioned above but everyone’s cell phones, work landlines and any other phone numbers. This should include extended family and friends. The list should also include other emergency numbers like doctors, dentists, police and fire stations and hospitals as well as your veterinarian if you have animals.
The communications plan is what you are going to need when the cell phones no longer work – radio. This is really a much longer discussion but here is the “cliff notes” version. GET YOUR HAM RADIO LICENSE! It’s not too late and its very easy to get the Technician (entry level) license. See the section on obtaining your ham license under communications. Then work on developing your communications plan and while studying look into what radios you get.
Your plan should have trigger points – an event or series of events that will cause you to take action steps. If the power goes out, you take a number of steps to make sure you have light, that you don’t open your freezer or take empty milk jugs and add water and put in your freezer or fill empty space with blankets. If there is a severe storm warning you make sure all loose items in your yard are put away or tied down, that flashlights are checked and that everyone is aware of your plan in case there is a tornado warning. A trigger could also cause you to check your radio batteries to make sure they are all charged.
Preparedness Conditions – PREP-CON
The government uses conditions to indicate a level of readiness in a number of areas. You’ve all probably heard of defense conditions (DEFCON). There are also continuity (of government) conditions (COGCON). Each level has corresponding actions that have to be taken.
Preparedness conditions are an extension of your trigger points and action plans. You combine triggers with actions and then group then. The more severe the events the higher you raise you preparedness condition.
We have a PREP-CON mind map for sale in our store that will give you some common triggers and actions that you can then expand on based on your situation.
Putting a Plan Together
A tool that I’ve been working on for some time is a form fillable document. I looked at all the forms I could find and none were very comprehensive, so I developed a template. It consists of a basic plan then various annexes.
The plan was developed with annexes so that the various sections are easier to develop and manage. It also allows you to share specific annexes, without necessarily sharing the entire plan.
The Family Emergency Plan consists of the basic plan plus any number of annexes to include:
- Personal Family Information
- Communications Plan
- Phone Tree
- Mutual Assistance Group (MAG) members & contact information
- Area Assessment information
- Contingency Binder checklist
- Emergency Evacuation Checklist
The basic plan form and information on completing it is available to Insider Patron members here.
If you have been putting off getting your ham license you can NO LONGER afford to do so!
If you have a Technician ham license, then its time to upgrade to General and get some HF capabilities. Look at AmRRON and their communications plans – that is where you are going to find help outside your area when all other means of communications are out. AmRRON are link-minded folks and have a very robust communications network. You will also find https://commsconnectus.com/ – a like minded group that will provide ‘flight following’ for your trips. There are friends of AA and the author and are highly recommended.