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Communications plans vital in emergencies

Father holding son's arms
Make sure everyone in your family carries a copy of your emergency plan in his or her backpack, purse or wallet.

To help mark National Preparedness Month, USPS wants you to make a family communications plan.

Advanced planning will help ensure that all members of your household know how to reach each other and are familiar with where to meet during an emergency.

Planning starts with these three steps:

• Collect. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family and other important people and offices, such as medical facilities, doctors, schools and service providers.

• Share. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.

• Practice. Have regular household meetings to review and practice your plan.

Also remember: Texting is best. If you’re using a mobile phone, a text message may get through when a phone call will not.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s site has additional instructions on creating a family communications plan.

The USPS National Preparedness site and, a Department of Homeland Security site, have additional tips on preparing for emergencies.

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