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New MU guide helps you build family disaster plan


Robert E. Thomas
Information Specialist
University of Missouri Cooperative Media Group
Phone: 573-882-2480

Published: Friday, Sept. 10, 2010

Story source:

Eric Evans, 573-884-8984, 573-999-4207 (cell)

COLUMBIA, Mo. –Planning can help your family make it through a disaster with minimal stress.

University of Missouri Extension has developed a template to guide families through the process of developing a comprehensive disaster plan. The template, available for download at, can be filled out electronically or by hand, said Eric Evans, MU Extension state specialist for emergency management.

“This plan outlines what each family member should do during an emergency and identifies safe places inside and outside the home,” he said.

A complete disaster plan will include information about each family member, household pets, insurance and finances, medications, vehicles, and the home and its contents.

“The plan lets you have in one place all the information you might need to gather if you are impacted by disaster,” he said. “Typically, people have this information but it is spread all over the house, and at the time of a disaster family members might not be thinking clearly.”

Creating the plan can begin with a family meeting to discuss how the family will respond to a disaster.

A second step is to put together a disaster supply kit so that the family can remain independent without power and other services for up to two weeks, Evans said. Families should keep one copy of the disaster plan with the supply kit and another copy off-site with a trusted friend or at a place of work.

“It is essential to have paper copies of the plan because electric and wireless services may be disrupted during an emergency,” he said.

Families should review their disaster plan annually and update as necessary, he said.

For more information from MU Extension about emergency management, see



Family Disaster Plan template:

Disaster Supplies Kit guide: