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Test Family Communication Plan

Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Odds are your family won't be together when a disaster strikes. Does everyone know where to go if separated during an emergency or how to communicate if cell towers are overloaded? 

This 8-post toolkit was released as part of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management's yearlong 12 Ways to Prepare social media campaign in 2024. This campaign aimed to meet residents where they were at with informational action items, encouraging them to be #ReadyOK while equipping them to that end. May's focus was Test Family Communication Plan, which dialed in on alternative communication methods and practical plans for keeping a family connected when regularly reliable methods fail.

1. Review

(5/12) CHECK ✅ In April, we learned how to #PracticeEmergencyDrills, and May brings a new way to prepare: Test your #FamilyCommunicationPlan! 

If that has you saying–wha? We’ll be posting about it all month. Stay tuned for tips! Or you can always find them online ⬇️

#YouCan #ResolveToBeReady #12WaysToPrepare #ReadyOK #OklahomaWay

2. Intro

We tend to take our ability to communicate instantly with our loved ones for granted, but reality is disaster could strike at any time of day, and you and your family might be separated and unable to communicate between overloaded cell towers. 

Do you have a #FamilyCommunicationPlan in place? Does everyone know what to do, how to reach out, where to go, etc.? Stay tuned for tips throughout this month or visit our #12WaystoPrepare webpage at

#YouCan #ResolveToBeReady #ReadyOK #OklahomaWay #12WaystoPrepare

3. Text - Don't Talk, OR Call Long-Distance

Tip #1: Text - don’t talk, OR, try calling long-distance 📞

It is often easier to send a text or call long-distance during an emergency than to reach someone nearby when local cell towers are overloaded. Choose an out-of-state friend or relative for all family members to call or text if separated during an emergency. 

#YouCan #DesignateYourEmergencyContact #FamilyCommunicationPlan #TextDontTalk #CallLongDistance #ReadyOK#12WaystoPrepare

4. Keep Charged

Multi-Image Post |

A dead phone won’t do you any good in an emergency. Ensure extra batteries, chargers and car chargers are included in your emergency preparedness kit ✅

#YouCan #ChargeYourPhone #FamilyCommunicationPlan #ReadyOK #12WaystoPrepare

5. Pick 2 Meeting Places

Just like your favorite #Pick2 lunch menu, your family needs to pick 2️⃣ designated meeting places in case you’re separated and not able to return home during or after an emergency: one near your home and one outside your neighborhood. 

A place near your home could be your mailbox or a trusted neighbor’s house. A place outside your neighborhood might be a corner store or a park. Wherever you choose, make sure your family knows their rendezvous points by heart and how to get there. 

#YouCan #DesignateMeetingPlaces #FamilyCommunicationPlan #ReadyOK #12WaystoPrepare

6. Memorize Phone Numbers

Memorize and/or write down the phone numbers of each of your family members and emergency contacts, and store copies in your emergency kit(s). Shock can do a number on the brain - have a fall-back to recoup important phone numbers no matter how great your memory 🐘📝🎒

This is ESPECIALLY important for children, who may become separated from family in a disaster. It’s every parent’s nightmare, but you can give yourself a little peace of mind by preparing now. There are plenty of ways to make number memorization fun for kids. Get started today! Tips for smartphones: Be sure they know how to get into the phone app to make a call and how to make an emergency call without unlocking a phone 🙇‍♂️

#YouCan #MemorizePhoneNumbers #FamilyCommunicationPlan #ReadyOK #12WaystoPrepare

7. Consider Ham Radio

In a worst-case scenario, your family would likely benefit from having access to Amateur Radios, also known as “ham” radios 🐷📡

Amateur radio is a very reliable communications method employed during emergency response situations.  Amateur radios are widely available in a variety of configurations and can be used to transmit over many miles. Think #WalkieTalkies that require a license from the Federal Communications Commission. These tests are relatively inexpensive and do require a little studying, but study aids are readily available online, and local clubs are quite willing to assist.

Learn more:

Find a club near you:

Don’t want to #GoHam? Give General Mobile Radio Service #GMRS and Family Radio Service #FRS a try. 

#YouCan #HamRadio #FamilyCommunicationPlan #ReadyOK #12WaystoPrepare

8. Test Your Plan

Give it a shot! 🚨 Practice what you’ve put together with your family this month: 

  1. Test-run your texts or calls to your designated out-of-state emergency contact (Make sure they’re aware of the test!). Did everyone know the contact’s number or have it written down in a safe place? 

  2. Practice regrouping at your 2️⃣ established meeting places when your family is separated. Did everyone make it to the right place? 

#YouCan #Test #FamilyCommunicationPlan #ReadyOK #12WaystoPrepare

Last Modified on May 28, 2024
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