Family Emergency Plan

When a disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond.  To ensure your family knows how to react in emergency situations, work together to create a family emergency plan. 

Prepare an emergency plan:

  • Know which radio stations in your area report on storms.  This will help you learn about the storm location and severity, the amount of damage to expect, when to evacuate and when it is safe to return home.
  • Discuss with your family the dangers of natural disasters and how to react in each situation.
  • Establish a location for family members to meet during an evacuation.
  • Conduct periodic family disaster drills so everyone is prepared.
  • Know how to turn off electricity, gas and water at the main valves.
  • Take a basic first aid and CPR class.
  • Post emergency phone numbers by every phone.


Breaking and shifting of rock beneath the Earth's surface causes sudden and rapid shaking, resulting in earthquakes. About 80 percent of the world’s earthquakes occur along the Pacific Ocean coastline.  It’s important to take precautionary steps to protect your home from serious damage.

Protect your home:

  • Fasten shelving, bookcases, mirrors, etc. to walls
  • Put large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Install strong latches on cupboards.
  • Strap the water heater to wall studs.
  • Install latches on kitchen cabinet doors to keep items in place.

To learn more about protecting your home from earthquakes go to The Institute for Business and Home Safety.


Flooding is a common disaster because it can occur after spring rains, heavy thunderstorms, or winter snow thaws. Flooding can ruin property and cause large amounts of damage.   

Your first defense against property damage caused by flooding is to have a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the Federal Insurance Administration and serviced through your COUNTRY agent.

Prepare before a flood:

  • Find out if you live in a flood-prone area.
  • Ask zoning officials if your property is above or below the flood stage water level.
  • Stockpile emergency building materials:
    • Plywood
    • Plastic Sheeting
    • Lumber and Nails
    • Hammer and Saw
    • Pry Bar
    • Shovels
    • Sandbags

React during a warning:

  • Turn off electricity at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
  • Move valuable items to upper floors.
  • Bring outdoor furniture and other outdoor items inside or tie them down.
  • Prepare to evacuate.
  • Avoid driving or walking through flooded areas