P.O. Box 23339
San Antonio, TX 78223-0339
Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan.
Download the Family Emergency Plan (PDF), print the pages and fill them in offline.
Your emergency planning should also address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs, and safely shutting off utilities.
You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at work, daycare, and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Read more about school and workplace plans.
Once you’ve collected this important information, gather your family members and discuss the information to put in the plan. Practice your plan at least twice a year and update it according to any issues that arise.
Obtain property, health and life insurance if you do not have them. Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and your family for all possible hazards.
Store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records and other important papers in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box away from your home. Make copies of important documents for your disaster supplies kit. Having such information handy should make the registration process for FEMA benefits smoother, should you be involved in a presidentially declared disaster.
Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
If your home is taller than ground level, plan to use an escape ladder from upper floors. Make sure everyone in your household is familiar with these products and is comfortable using them.
Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency. Record the locations.
Make a record of your personal property for insurance purposes. Take photos or a video of the interior and exterior of your home. Include personal belongings in your inventory. You may also want to download the free Household and Personal Property Inventory Book (PDF) from the University of Illinois to help you record your possessions .
Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. It is advisable to keep a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks at home in a safe place where you can quickly access them in case of evacuation. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.
Disasters not only affect community infrastructure and public works, but they often overcome family finances, making recovery difficult and sometimes impossible. Start by completing an PDF Icon Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (PDF - 977 Kb) created in partnership with Operation HOPE.
Research shows that while 71% of households reported having copies of important financial documents in a safe place, only 1% specifically mentioned the documents as being part of their household disaster supplies. Only 2% of households reported having cash as part of their disaster preparedness supplies.
Pre-disaster financial planning is essential for individuals and families to complete because disasters leave many Americans without access to finances or with expensive damages.
The EFFAK is a simple tool designed to assist you and your family in being financially prepared before a disaster strikes and maintaining financial stability in the event of an emergency. EFFAK helps you to identify and organize key financial records and provides a quick reference file for your most important financial documents.
One kit per household is recommended, although in the event one kit is used for a couple, all joint and separate accounts and liabilities should be included.
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