Creating an Emergency Family Safety Plan

It can be hard to plan for family emergencies because no one ever wants to believe something bad can happen to them. The sad reality is that everyone should be prepared for the unexpected to happen. Some things are far beyond anyone’s control, including break-ins, fires, and natural disasters. It’s important to know ahead of time what to do in case something does happen to your family. It will make a big difference, and possibly save lives, if everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation.

Know Your Security System

Security systems can help you sleep better at night knowing you have an extra layer of protection around your home. Get a security system and take the time to learn the different features it has to offer. Look for alarm systems that offer 24-hour monitoring, fast alarm response, and easy-to-use equipment. It’s especially important that older children know how to operate the home security system so they can develop safe habits, prevent false alarms, and know what to do in the event of an emergency.


Every family needs to communicate about what they should do in numerous types of emergency situations. Every family is different, so you need to think of something that makes sense to your family’s needs. Take the time to identify responsibilities of each family member in these situations. Discuss different types of situations that can occur such as a break in, fire, earthquake, tornado, or a terrorist attack. It can be scary to talk to your children about such things, but everyone should plan for the unexpected. You and your family members can all take CPR classes together to prepare for health-related emergencies.

Have a Meeting Spot

Identify two meeting spots inside the house and two locations outside the house for your family members to go to if anything does happen. You can prepare a diagram to help your children understand it better. Meeting places will help keep everyone together and allow you to make sure everyone is present and accounted for. It’s always good to have more than one meeting spot in case one of them ends up compromised. Outdoor meeting spots are good in the event of a house fire because it gives everyone a safe destination to meet up with everyone else.

Practice Home Evacuation

Talking about how to evacuate your home in different situations is one thing, but to make sure your plan is going to work, you should really put the plan into action. Try to make a point to practice home evacuations at least once a year at night. The night is when most people feel the most fear, so practicing at night can alleviate fear and help family members remain calm and focus on the plan.

Teach the Importance of 9-1-1

Teach your children the importance of dialing 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. Discuss the times that it is appropriate to call them and when they should not call them. For younger children, you’ll want to stress the importance of calling when there is an emergency, such as an unconscious family member, a fire, or a break-in.

Making a plan with your family can save lives. Every family member young and old should understand that serious emergencies do happen, but remaining calm and sticking to the family plan can keep everyone safe. Drawing diagrams and posting the family emergency plans around the house can be a great reminder for what to do in each type of situation.

Creating an Emergency Family Safety Plan


  1. Good points. My children brought home emergency family home plans for us to complete while they attended school. I think after reading this I should update/refresh our plan.

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