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Make an emergency plan

The City of Philadelphia wants you to be ready for any emergency. To be ready, you need to start planning for an emergency now, not in the middle of one.

Think about different kinds of emergencies, like a house fire, snow storm, power outage, hurricane, or terrorist attack. What supplies would you need in each situation? Where would you go if you needed to leave your home?

You’re responsible for having an emergency plan, storing emergency supplies in your home, and knowing how to shelter in place and evacuate.

Write the plan down

Don’t rely on memory. Write down what your family will do when there is an emergency, or use the family emergency plan form to record important contact details. Make sure everyone in your household has a copy! Family members can keep the plan and emergency contacts in wallets and backpacks.

Learn about sheltering in place

Pick one room in your home to be your shelter-in-place room. Have enough food and other supplies for three days.

Talk about how to evacuate

If you are told to evacuate, you will have to leave your home quickly. You should decide what you will need to take with you in your go bag.

Pick two places where your family or household can meet after an emergency. One place should be near your home. The other place should be outside your neighborhood.

Plan for everyone

Include everyone in the household, especially seniors, those with special needs, non-English speakers, and pets. Fill out a health information form for anyone with medical conditions, special needs, or prescription medications.

Create a family communications plan

Ask an out-of-area friend or relative to be someone that household members can call during an emergency. Be sure every member of your family has the phone number of the emergency contact person. It’s also a good idea to keep a prepaid phone card on hand in case you are unable to use your own phone.


Make sure to practice your plan at home. Have fire drills, make sure you use different exits every time you practice. Practice getting to your emergency meeting places and make sure everyone knows how to get there.