Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Salvation Army volunteer standing next to a fire fighter

How to create a plan for emergencies

Added on Monday, August 21, 2017

Written by Ashley Grossman, Social Media Manager for The Salvation Army Northern Division 

We believe preparedness is the first step to keeping your family safe. The time to prepare for a disaster isn’t when a storm begins to grow; the time to prepare is now (download our emergency planning document). Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it’s important to know what could happen in your area and carefully create your safety plan. The first step is easy– it begins by asking questions and writing down vital information to build a communications plan.

Establish a Communications Plan

  1. Make sure you and your family members have each other’s phone numbers.
  2. Record school and workplace names, addresses, and phone numbers.
  3. Discuss a communications procedure and answer the question “who will contact whom?” It’s sometimes faster to send a text instead of calling as phone lines tend to become overloaded in times of disaster.
  4. Select known locations of where to go and meet in an emergency.

Create your Evacuation Plan

In some cases it will be necessary to talk about an evacuation plan with your family. In Minnesota and North Dakota, you may face fires or flooding. In the case of a fire, timing is everything. This is why planning ahead of time is vital for the safety of you and your family.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Use your communication plan to establish how your will contact each other and where you will meet.
  2. To prepare for a fire, walk through each room in your home and identify at least two escape routes. These will be either a window or door. To include small children, have them draw a map of your home and label all doors, windows and fire alarms.
  3. Choose an outdoor meeting place, possibly what you selected in your communications plan.
  4. Make sure everyone in your household has the emergency phone number memorized. That way, anyone can call for help as soon as they are in a safe place.
  5. If there are family members with mobility limitations, like an infant or older adult, make sure someone is assigned to help them escape.
  6. Practice!

Now, we’ve made it easier than ever to prepare for an emergency situation. Simply, subscribe to our text list to receive bite-sized safety tips each month. Text SASAFETY to 51555 to join.

By joining our text list, you’ll receive brief tips, checklists, and other relevant information that will help keep you and your family safe before a disaster strikes. You’ll also learn where and how we’re serving those who need help in the event of a large-scale disaster.