Are You Prepared?

Family Plan

Family emergency planning can be the key to surviving an emergency. It is important to talk to your family to prepare them for various emergencies. Ensure the whole family is a part of the planning process so that the plan addresses everyone's needs. Familiarize yourself with emergency plans at places that are a part of your everyday life, such as school, work, church, or day care.

Recognize that in extreme situations, emergency resources may be limited. Be prepared to care for yourself and your family for at least three days (72 hours).

Designate Locations to Meet

Designate locations to meet in case it is impossible to return home or if you have to evacuate. Make sure your family knows the address and phone number of both locations. Choose two -

  • one near your home and
  • one outside the neighborhood.

Designate an Out-of-Area Contact Person

This person should be far enough away that it is unlikely he or she would be affected by the same emergency. Family members should call this person to report their locations if they cannot reach each other. Provide your contact person with important names and numbers so he or she can assist in keeping others posted on your situation. Create a communications card for each member of your household to keep with them at all times.

Create an Emergency Supply Kit and a Go Bag

Make sure that all members of your household know where these supplies are.

Determine the Best Escape Routes From Your Home

Identify at least two separate escape routes and practice using them. Keep a flashlight and a pair of shoes by each bed.

Locate Your Gas Main and Other Utilities

Make sure the entire household knows where they are and how to operate them. Make sure your home is as safe and secure as possible.

Make Copies of All Important Documents

Keep them off-site in a secure location. Include these documents: passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, wills, deeds, driver's licenses, financial documents, insurance information, and prescriptions. Catalog and photograph valuables, and keep these with your second set of documents.

The Emergency Financial First Aid Kit, developed by Operation HOPE and FEMA, can help you identify and organize key financial records and provides a quick reference file for your most important financial documents.

While making your plan, consider the requirements of children, seniors, persons with functional needs, non-English speakers, and pets in your household.

For Additional Information

Emergency Kit

Disasters can happen at any time and anywhere, and you may not have much time to respond. Take these four steps toward preparedness.

  1. Make a Plan - Talk to family and friends about the types of emergencies that can occur.
  2. Build an Emergency Supply Kit(s) - Have a kit for your house, vehicle, and your place of work. Be prepared to shelter in your home or to be evacuated.
  3. Get Training - Learn first-aid and CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation). Know how to shelter-in-place and how to turn off utilities (power, gas, water) to your home.
  4. Volunteer - Volunteer in your community as a CERT (Citizen Emergency Response Team) member, a firefighter, or an emergency medical technician.

Prepare Your Emergency Kit(s)

There are basic steps you can take to ensure you are prepared at home, in your vehicle, and at work. By building an emergency kit, you and your family will have the basic survival items that are necessary during an emergency.

  • Download the Disaster Kit brochure from the American Red Cross and the Illinois Terrorism Task Force for an easy to use checklist of items suggested for your kit(s). Use the links below to download the brochure.
  • Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home or evacuated.
  • Keep the items you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container (Go Bag), such as a camping backpack or a duffle bag.

For Additional Information


When an emergency occurs, things may be hectic. Remember, it is in the best interest of you and your family to be prepared for any emergency. When an emergency does occur, it is your responsibility to:

  • Listen to local radio and TV for special announcements and instructions
  • Review your plan with your family members
  • Have your Disaster and Go Kits ready for possible use
  • Make sure your contact person knows your status and where you are going
  • Be ready to take appropriate protective actions

For more information, select a topic:

  1. Disease Outbreak

  2. Earthquake

  3. Fires

  4. Hazardous Materials

  5. Power Outage

  6. Terrorism

  7. Weather

Emergency management content on the Butte-Silver Bow website was developed drawing heavily from and updating the excellent resources offered on the Ready Illinois website produced by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and partner organizations.