Share Your Meeting Places and Communication Plan

Rainbow "Sharing is Caring" hands making a heart GIF
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Now that you’ve determined your emergency meeting places and created an emergency communication plan, it’s absolutely vital to review them with the people involved. Everyone in your family and everyone mentioned as a key resource in the plan should know about these plans to maximize their helpfulness during emergencies. 

Here’s how to ensure everyone knows your plans and has access to them.

step 2.5 share the plan

1. Explain it to everyone

  • If some members of your family weren’t involved in creating your plans, sit down with the whole family to review what’s happening. Go over why you need designated meeting places and an emergency communication plan.
  • Then, read out your meeting places and communication plan to everyone. Check in and confirm that all family members have understood both. 
  • Answer any questions that they may have.
Rule of Thumb

Make the explanation as simple as possible for your family. The fewer moving parts in your plan, the more likely it is to succeed during a crisis. Don’t assume your kids will become more capable once the pressure is on.

2. Create and distribute copies

Having just one copy of the contact details and emergency communication channels won’t do. You need to create multiple copies.

  • The physical copies (printed out in multiple sizes and page orientations, and laminated) should be put in the right places for easy accessibility.
  • The digital copy should be stored on everyone’s phones and ideally on the cloud where everyone can access it if they lose their original phones.

You should create physical copies for the following places:

  • A central place in the house (for example, on the fridge, by the garage entrance, or over the furnace).
  • Wallets. Make wallet-sized printouts of the plan and ensure that all members carry them when they leave the house.
    • We’ve taken out the guesswork for this step: get the Disaster Bundle to receive a stack of Emergency Buddy wallet reference cards to make sure you, your family, and your besties are never without the contacts (and other useful info) that will help the most during a disaster.
  • Your emergency kits. Each Go Bag and your Stay Bag should have a copy kept in the waterproof bag with the important documents.
  • An accessible place in each room in the house. For example, nightstands, junk drawers, media cabinets.
Cork board with cards pinned
If you’re a cork board family, you sure as shootin’ should pin it to that cork board.

3. Involve external stakeholders

You picked out a bunch of people who might help you during a disaster, so you’d better tell them about it! Share your designated meeting places and emergency communication plans with them as needed, and confirm they agree to help:

  • Your neighbors
    • Share your list of important contacts with them so they’ll know who to call if there’s an emergency and they can’t reach you. In turn, ask them if they’d like you to hold a copy of their emergency contacts so you can return the favor.
  • People who visit often
    • For example, if your babysitter, housekeeper, or your partner’s parents are frequently at your house, they should have all the details of your plan.
  • Your school/university/office/daycare/pet care admins
    • Most of these locations take emergency contact details at the start, but it’s a good idea to confirm the information they have on file and update it if needed. Sharing your entire emergency communication plan with these people would be overkill for most families, but if you are deeply enmeshed with any of these institutions, go for it!
  • Your out-of-town contact
    • Let them know what you would need from them to help your family stay connected and safe in times of crisis. Give them a digital and physical copy of their role so they can easily remember what to do.
      • You guessed it: the Disaster Bundle has you covered here as well. We’ve created a dossier of tips, resources, and customizable pages to turn your Official Out-of-Town Contact into a Master of Disaster. They’ll be better prepared to help, which means you’ll have a better chance of making it out unscathed if things really go wrong.

Once everyone knows that part of the plan, you’re almost there! The next step is going all the way with your disaster plans.

Multiple people using a laptop to plan
If you survived a family meeting, give yourself a pat on the back.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.