Family Preparedness Plan

Our office can make sure you are prepared for emergencies at work, and we want to make sure you prepare for emergencies at home as well.  We know the distraction and difficulty that can come with continuing to work when your family is not safe and prepared.  We recommend that you develop an emergency plan for your home and family, as well as a communications plan.

For specific information on how to create a family emergency preparedness plan, follow the four easy steps on this page or visit FEMA’s Family Preparedness Plan page.

In addition, use the resources below as guides to further prepare your home and family.  If you would like advice, or need assistance, contact us at


American Red Cross Family Preparedness Plan 

American Red Cross Pet Preparedness resources “Make a Plan” resources Disaster Preparedness for Pets resources

FEMA Family Communications Plan templates


Step 1: Start a Discussion

Put together a plan by discussion four primary questions you should all have the answers to:

  1. How will I receive my emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family and household communication plan?

While you are on campus, we have you are covered if you are signed up for MIT Alert.  We also recommend you also sign up for the alerting system for your local city, state, or jurisdiction (ex: Cambridge Alert Network).

Step 2: Customize Your Plan

Not all plans look the same. What works for you and your family may be different than the plan your neighbor creates with their family.  As you prepare your plan, tailor it to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss it with your immediate family to make sure it’s the right plan that works for each of you. When customizing your plan, keep the following factors in mind:

  • The ages of your household members
  • Your responsibilities for assisting each other, or your family members/neighbors
  • The locations your family frequents
  • Dietary needs and restrictions
  • Medical needs, including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disability or access and functional needs, including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Pets or service animals

Step 3: Write it Down

FEMA has developed an easy way for you to formulate and write down your family’s emergency plan. Click here to find the form, fill it out, and print it. We suggest printing one copy per each member of your household, and at least two additional copies as backups.

Step 4: Practices Makes Perfect

In Emergency Management, and across the MIT campus, we firmly believe that practices does make perfect. Once you’ve developed your plan and talked through it with your family and household, be sure to practice it. We recommend practicing it at least once per semester. If you’re up for a challenge, practice it every quarter!