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Fewer Than Half of Americans Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan

FEMA urges preparedness and offers tips to be ready when it counts.

by FEMA / February 5, 2016

Despite the fact that we are seeing more extreme weather across the United States and increases in the costs of natural disasters, our research shows that fewer than half of Americans have developed and discussed an emergency plan with their household.

One of the ways to protect your family and prepare for an emergency is to start with good communication. A family emergency communication plan is critical to making sure the entire family knows who to contact, how to reach each other, and where to meet up in an emergency.

America’s PrepareAthon is a campaign to get people better prepared for disasters through hazard-specific group discussions, drills, and exercises. As part of the campaign and National Preparedness Month this September, we are encouraging families to take a few minutes to talk through and practice their emergency plan.

Here are some ways to get prepared:

Sign up for local alerts and warnings from school, work, or your local government.

Know how to get in touch with each other, especially if you happen to be in different locations, such as home, school, or work when disaster strikes.

Identify and practice meeting in a safe and familiar place where your family can go for protection or to reunite.

Have a wallet card with emergency numbers and an out-of-town point of contact.

Know the evacuation routes out of town.

Visit the America’s PrepareAthon at to download the Be Smart: Create Your Family Emergency Communication Plan and join the millions of families doing their part to get prepared.


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