Wisconsin Emergency Management

Make A Plan

Start a plan by bringing your family together to discuss potential hazards.

Click here for the Online Family Emergency Planner. This step by step tool makes planning simple and easy. Click here for the Online Family Emergency Planner
We have other planning tips and information below.

Did you know: In an emergency, it may be easier to communicate with others through text messaging? Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.


If a hazardous chemical emergency occurs in your neighborhood, the most important thing to remember is to take action quickly. During a hazardous chemical emergency, you should go inside and stay put. This procedure is called Shelter in Place. You can use your entire house or only a few rooms. Make sure you choose an area that has a telephone, water, a toilet, and someplace you can seal off easily. A bedroom is an excellent choice.

Be Aware and Prepare

Create an emergency plan just like you do in the event of a fire, tornado or any other kind of emergency. Include in the plan the steps you will take to protect yourself and your family.

Make a checklist of what needs to be done. Next, assign tasks. Each person in the family should have a job for which they are capable and responsible.

Add to the emergency kit you may already have for power outages. Inside, keep an updated emergency phone list that includes the phone numbers for a doctor, the closest emergency room, fire and police. Also note the local TV channels and radio stations with frequent news broadcasts.

Make sure your emergency kit includes the following: Store your emergency kit in a place you can get to quickly and easily. Then rehearse by having emergency drills.

Family Meeting Places

Where to meet

Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. Your family plan should address the following:

Location Family Communications
Near the home For example, the next door neighbor’s telephone pole
Outside the immediate area For example, the neighborhood grocery store parking lot

Family Communications

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. Think about how you will communicate in different situations.

Complete a contact card for each family member. Have family members keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, backpack, etc. You may want to send one to school with each child to keep on file. Pick a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify during an emergency that they are safe.

Your Family Communications Plan should be completed and posted so the contact information is readily accessible to all family members. A copy should also be included in your family disaster supplies kit.

You can complete your plan online and print it at Ready America

Tips for Communicating Disaster


Click this link to: Download Senior Planning Fact Sheet

Each person's needs and abilities are unique, but every individual can take important steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies and put plans in place. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan, you can be better prepared for any situation. A commitment to planning today will help you prepare for any emergency situation. Preparing makes sense. Get ready now.

Create a Support Network

Additional Supplies and Documents:

Medications and Medical Supplies
If you take medicine or use a medical treatment on a daily basis, be sure you have what you need to make it on your own for at least a week, maybe longer. Emergency Documents:
Include copies of important documents in your emergency supply kits such as family records, medical records, wills, deeds, social security number, charge and bank accounts information and tax records.

Functional Needs

Download Emergency Preparedness for Functional Needs Fact Sheet

If you or someone close to you has a disability or a functional need, you may have to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family in an emergency.
Disability/Functional Need Additional Steps
Visually impaired May be extremely reluctant to leave familiar surroundings when the request for evacuation comes from a stranger. A guide dog could become confused or disoriented in a disaster. People who are blind or partially sighted may have to depend on others to lead them, as well as their dog, to safety during a disaster.
Hearing impaired May need to make special arrangements to receive warnings.
Mobility impaired May need special assistance to get to a shelter.
Non-English speaking persons May need assistance planning for and responding to emergencies. Community and cultural groups may be able to help keep people informed.
People with special dietary needs Should take special precautions to have an adequate emergency food supply.
People with medical conditions Should know the location and availability of more than one facility if dependent on a dialysis machine or other life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
People with cognitive disabilities May need help responding to emergencies and getting to a shelter.
People with dementia Should be registered in the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return Program

If you have functional needs: Find out about special assistance that may be available in your community. Register with the office of emergency services or the local fire department for assistance so needed help can be provided.

Check for hazards in the home

During and right after a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break or cause fire is a home hazard. Check for items such as bookcases, hanging pictures, or overhead lights that could fall in an earthquake or a flood and block an escape path.

Be ready to evacuate

Have a plan for getting out of your home or building (ask your family or friends for assistance, if necessary). Also, plan two evacuation routes because some roads may be closed or blocked in a disaster.


Download Emergency Preparedness for Pets Fact Sheet

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today.

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.

Prepare a portable disaster supply kit for your pet.

Keep items in an accessible place and store them in sturdy containers that can be carried easily.

If you must evacuate, take your pets with you if possible. However, if you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.
ReadyWisconsin is an initiative of Wisconsin Emergency Management designed to educate and empower Wisconsinites to prepare for
and respond to all kinds of emergencies including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

Wisconsin Emergency Management
2400 Wright St.
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: 608.242.3000     Fax: 608.242.3247