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Perhaps this should be titled "Have Plans" since, depending on your circumstances, you might have more than one plan.

You should have a Family Plan, one developed with input from everyone living in your home. People with special needs should have plans that address these needs. If your family includes a pregnant woman or a mother with a small infant, or if a family member that is elderly, disabled or sick a plan can ensure that their special needs are provided for.

There should also be plans for securing your home; protecting your vehicles, boat and other property; and for taking care of pets and livestock. If you own a business, you should have a plan to protect your property and a business continuity plan that helps you get your business running again as soon as possible. (See the section on "Business".)

Remember that a written plan can ease tension and anxiety in a stressful situation. A plan contains a list of actions, and assigns these actions to family members. A plan provides control in emergency situations. You may not be able to do anything about the track and strength of a hurricane, but planning gives you control over your family's level of preparedness. An action list can become a checklist with dates and times by which certain actions should be completed.

Plans can be changed and you can even plan for those changes. Planning means you can spot some of the problems and difficulties ahead of time and plan for them.

Last Updated: 2010-08-15