Emergency Preparedness Committee – Planning Ahead!

Planning Ahead! Emergencies and disasters come in all shapes and sizes: Individual, Family, Neighborhood, and Community Catastrophic. Do you have a plan? Do you and those you interact with have a plan? Do you know the plan others have for you? When something happens, it is too late to start thinking about what to do. Adrenalin is pumping and emotions often over ride logic. If you have a predetermined and pre-practiced plan, you can “act” in an emergency rather than “reacting” to a confusing situation. No one plan fits every one.

You need to form a personalized plan to fit your particular needs and circumstances.

The following are questions to consider as you develop your plan:

■ Do you have a supply of food and medicine that you like on hand in case you get sick? Do you know what stores deliver? Do you have someone you could call to help you?

■ In case of fire in your home, do you and your family have an escape plan and a designated meeting place?

■ Do you have emergency phone numbers posted by your phone? Do your children know they are there and how to use them? In case the power goes out, do you have a “hard wired” phone that does not need electricity?

■ If you are not home or have been hurt, do your children know a trusted neighbor they can go to for help or is there someone designated to check on them?

■ Do your children know what to do and where to go in case of an emergency? Especially if they are away from home. Do they know their phone numbers, addresses, parents’ names and who to trust?

■ Local phone lines are often jammed in an emergency, but out-of-state outgoing lines may still be available. Do you have a predestinated out-of-state emergency contact? Do you carry this number with you? Do other family members (kids) know and carry this number?

■ Do you know designated evacuation routes from your home, community, work place, or children’s school?

■ Do you and your family members know where shelters are?

■ In the event of evacuation do you have a designated family meeting place?

■ Do you know where your children would be evacuated to if they are at school? Do your children know you know?

■ Do you have and know how to use emergency supplies?

■ Do you have a plan for “Sheltering in Place?” (Subjects for future training)

■ Do you have a plan for getting information and communication needs?

■ If you have pets, have you considered their needs?

Do you know the two most important things to always have with you in an emergency? Answer: Knowledge of emergency procedures and a clear head. Just a few things to think about now, before we wish we had!

For more information and available resources, please see

■ Niguel Shores Website (www.niguelshores.org)

■ American Red Cross | Disaster Relief, (www.redcross.org/)

■ FEMA (FEMA.gov)

■ City of Dana Point : CERT www.danapoint.org › … ›Public Safety › Emergency Services

—Linda Foth