Family Disaster Plan
Making a Family Emergency Preparedness Plan

I. Know what to prepare for


   A. Contact local emergency management agencies to find out what types of disasters occur in your area

   B. Learn about local warning signals, shelters, evacuation plans, etc.

   C. Know emergency plans for work, school, child care, etc.


II. Make a disaster plan


   A. Devise a plan of action for your family in case of disaster, assigning activities and responsibilities as a team

   B. Pick two places to meet in case of disaster (one near home, and one outside the neighborhood)

   C. Assign an out-of-state family contact and make sure all family members have the contact's phone number, address, and contact info


III. Keep an emergency checklist


   A. Post emergency phone numbers by telephones (fire, ambulance, police, poison control)

   B. Know how and when to turn off the utilities (water, gas, and electricity)

   C. Post a map of emergency escape routes inside a cabinet door or someplace accessible

   D. Discuss safe places in the home for each type of disaster

   E. Prepare a checklist for emergencies


IV. Practice


   A. Discuss emergency plans at regular intervals (twice a year)

   B. Conduct emergency drills to see if you're ready

   C. Test smoke detectors monthly (change batteries yearly or as needed)

   D. Test and recharge fire extinguishers



Using Your Food Storage

I. Why Store Food?

One obvious reason for storing food is that natural disaster could cut off food supplies to you or to your grocery stores, or the threat of disaster could result in hoarding food by the community, emptying store supplies before they could be replenished. Food storage can be a Godsend when financial or family crisis occurs. Your food storage may be a used in a welcome basket for new neighbors or a care basket for someone in dire straits. Beyond that, food storage is great for everyday use. Buying in bulk or larger quantities than usual can result in savings on your regular grocery bill. Practicing bulk storage and shopping for seasonal sales can significantly reduce your expenses in the long run, providing some extra budget money for savings, education, family needs, or even entertainment.


II. What to Store?

Deciding what to store can be the obstacle that prevents many people from going forth with their food storage plans. Begin by storing what you already use that has a good shelf life and provides a variety of food with adequate nutrition. Add items to complement these, and don't forget the seasonings and cooking essentials.  Build your storage pantry on these items, adding foods that you will use which store well.

III. Using Food Storage

Use your food storage before the shelf life runs out. As the shelf life expires, food loses nutritional value. To get the best nutrition from your storage, rotate your supplies by using the oldest items first. Put new items toward the back of your shelves, behind newer items of the same food. Food storage that's too old too eat may still have uses. For example, flour may be used as paste or for papier mache crafts. Grains and TVP may be added to feed for some animals (check with your vet for food safety.) Learn the shelf life for the foods you store so that you don't store more than you will use.

IV. Cooking with Food Storage

In these fast-food times, it's easy to avoid cooking altogether. But learning to cook with food storage need not be an elaborate culinary enterprise. The canned tuna in your pantry is a great food storage item. You can combine it with salad fixings for a quick meal or serve it with relish and mayo on crackers. Add it to pasta or mac and cheese for a quick casserole. Those frozen vegetables can turn into quick stew with a little meat and tomato sauce or a covered casserole with a can of soup. The meat and bread in the freezer might be meatloaf or stir-fry on toast. Spaghetti or pasta is a quick meal, and you can used canned chicken if you're out of beef. Peanut butter isn't just a quick sandwich for the kids. It's good protein to add to bread, cookies, and it becomes candy when added to powdered sugar and rolled into balls. Look for recipes that utilize what you already have in ways that you will feel comfortable preparing them. 

Preparedness Class Handouts


Preparedness Class Outline

Outline for Preparedness Class taught by Mary Catherine "Cathy" Miller of



Preparing for Disaster Excerpt

Excerpt from "Preparing for Disaster" 14-page booklet from FEMA/American Red Cross from



Are You Prepared: The 72 Hour Emergency Kit ~ Trifold color brochure on putting together an emergency kit from



Tips from Survival Handbook ~ 2-page Excerpt of tips from "The Survival Handbook" (Learn the Survival Skills of the World's Elite Forces) by Peter Darman (256-page book) Provides advice on suriving in hostile environments and includes tips on shelters, traps, weapons, tools, food-finding, signaling, first aid, and other life-saving topics - from



Essentials of Home Production & Storage by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from

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"All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage" 4-page guide outlining some basic principles of family home storage and encourages members to begin building their home storage supply - from



"All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances" 4-page guide explaining some simple steps for wise management of financial resources. It includes a budget worksheet. - from



"One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance" pamphlet by Elder Marvin J. Ashton outlining several steps for sound financial management, including how to save and budget money -



"Preparing Food During a Power Failure" 1-page flier from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Extension



More Preparedness Class Resources: