Family Communications Planning


What would you do if an emergency or disaster hits your area? How would you communicate with your spouse, children, or parents and other family members when everyone is scattered at school, work, or out and about doing errands?

Having a plan on where to meet, who your emergency contacts are, a way to communicate when cell towers are overwhelmed or out of commission due to the emergency is all a part of a good family communications plan.

Having the name and contact information for your insurance agent may be a good idea too.


Click here for tips on family communications planning from FEMA.

Smoke Detector, Carbon Monoxide Detector, or Combination

I have scoured everything I can find in regards to whether it is better to buy combination smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors or, if it is better to have them separate devices.

I have not been able to find anything on that exact topic. I did find a lot of information on placement of CO detectors though;

We are most likely to succumb to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning while we sleep, so place them near your family’s bedrooms. If you only have one alarm put it closest to where you sleep.

If your furnace is  in the basement, make sure you have a detector there. If you dry with a gas clothes dryer, put an alarm in the laundry room.

Detectors should be approximately 5 feet from the floor according to experts, whereas smoke alarms aren’t supposed to be more than 12 inches from the ceiling. I guess this kind of answers the question for me.

I’ve determined that I’ll keep them separate, check them monthly and, replace batteries when I turn my clocks for daylight savings twice a year.

Remember, have two exits for every room and practice your plan with a fire drill!


Need to Buy a Generator?

Here is a link with information on information you need to know to buy a generator.

A generator can keep you and your home warm, your family entertained, run your pumps, keep you cool. You need to know what size generator it takes to do what you want though. The link above is an informative document that I used when purchasing one for our home and livestock barn.

Make a Plan

This fall, sit down with your family and develop a plan. You’ll feel much better when an emergency or disaster occurs if you can have contact with your family. Figure out how to communicate in a disaster. Where will you meet up? What if you can’t be the one to pick up your young children? Plan now, it will bring you peace of mind.
For more information on emergency planning click this link

Individuals with special needs, click this link for planning tips

Senior Citizens there are special tips available here for you

Make a plan for your pets too!

Summer Storms and Other Shelter Needs

According to how to shelter depends on the hazard you are sheltering from.
I’ll use two hazards from our Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan: Tornado/Wind Storm and Hazardous Materials.
During a tornado we all know that you should shelter in a basement, or on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Practice this with your family so everyone knows that when your NOAA all hazard radio announces a tornado warning, you all head for the designated shelter area. I personally recommend having items ready to grab on days when storms are forecast. Put entertainment items such as books or games, snack items and water on the steps leading down to the shelter. That way you don’t have to search for them and you’ll have something to do while you wait out the storm.

For hazardous materials release we still shelter indoors but you would take extra precautions to keep the contamination from getting into your home.
Here is information from on SEALING A ROOM.
As always, pass this information along to friends, neighbors, family. Do drills to make these actions routine. You never know what calamity could strike, when. STAY SAFE!