Emergencies Don't Care if You're away from home

Having emergency plans for the places you often visit is crucial because emergencies and disasters can strike unexpectedly. By planning in advance, you ensure that your family will be equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to stay safe, no matter where they are.

Emergency Planning
5-Step Planning for Away From Home Emergencies

Step #1 Identify locations

Where do you and members of your family spend much of your time? Examples are your car, work, school, daycare, babysitter’s house, outside family member’s homes, church, sports arenas and playing fields, entertainment locations such as theaters, shopping malls, other methods of transportation such as a train or bus, etc. Learn more about making emergency kits for places you most frequent.

Step #2 Gather all information

Do these locations have emergency plans, protocols, and procedures in place such as evacuation or sheltering in place? If the answer is yes, find out, in detail, what they are and incorporate your plan into the larger, existing plan. If they do not have an existing plan, create your own. (step 4) While you’re at it, ask them to consider coming up with a plan for their location. This ultimately could help many other people.

Step #3 Consider all specifics

Different locations, buildings, and environments surrounding these areas may require specific types of emergency responses when it comes to warning and evacuating people. Find out all of the particulars.

Step #4 Create a plan for each location

Once you have this information for each location you and your family frequent, create a general emergency plan for each. Here are some questions to consider while forming your plans:

  • How will you and others get local alerts or warnings while you are there?
  • Where is the building’s alarm or alert systems located?
  • Where are the exits, including alternate exits?
  • What are the key supplies you and others would need for temporary sheltering?

Step #5 Go over plans with family members

Just as you go over your home emergency plans with your family members, explain to the individual what to expect and how to respond to different types of emergencies that could happen at locations where they spend much of their time. Go over these individual plans a few times a year.

Tip: Along with making plans for emergencies that happen away from home, there are various kits that you can create for this very purpose. Here you will learn how to create a school kit, office kit, auto kit, and a get back home kit.

Emergency Planning
Auto Plan

We spend so much time in our cars. This location is an absolute must when it comes to emergency preparedness for several reasons. It ensures your safety, helps prevent breakdowns, and prepares you for unexpected situations such as severe weather or emergencies.

Storing helpful items can get a bit trickier due to the fluctuation of temperatures, but preparedness is much more than stuff to store. It’s about making solid plans and thinking ahead. It’s about doing things throughout our week that can help us should an emergency or disaster befall us while we are in our car.

Like many other things, car travel itself carries its inherent risks. Here are some ways you can make car travel safer for you and your family.

Avoiding mechanical problems

  • Keeping up with regular can maintenance will go a long way in avoiding mechanical problems Find a reputable mechanic that you can trust and stay on top of regular maintenance. Make sure to include a battery and fluid levels check, and that your tires are always properly inflated.
  • Place a sticker on your windshield to remind you to make an appointment the next time maintenance is due. This should include a battery and fluid levels check.
  • If you plan to drive, long-distance give your car a thorough diagnostic check.

Weather prep

Prepare your car for the upcoming season.

  • Check your tire's tread depth and install winter tires if necessary.
  • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Check the anti-freeze level and add more as necessary.
  • Make sure your AC is functioning.
  • Check coolant levels in your radiator and all other fluid levels to help your car’s engine deal with hotter temperatures.
  • Check tire pressure as increased temps can increase pressure.

Items to keep with your car

  • Auto Kit: Each car should have its own emergency kit with items like jumper cables, flares, and more. Have an itemized list of what is in your car’s emergency kit. Whenever you use an item from your kit, replace it immediately.

  • Papers & Documents: Always carry necessary papers & documents necessary for your car. These include vehicle registration, your insurance card, your roadside assistance card, and a printed emergency list of people to call in case there is an emergency and you can't get in to your phone.

  • Food & Water: Store food and water that can withstand but extremely cold and hot temperatures. These products are a set it and forget it solution and don't need to be rotated for 5 years.

Always be on the lookout

Always be aware of your surroundings. Be prepared to escape a bad situation by knowing a viable way out.

  • If an errant driver pulls in front of you, be prepared to safely act.
  • Know the trouble spots that could pose safety issues like a dam or bridge failure potentially caused by a disaster, or areas prone to landslides, etc. Have detours in mind for these areas.
  • When traveling through less populated areas, determine the potential risks and ways to get help along your route.

Communicate your travel with others

  • Before you leave for vacation or an extended drive, inform friends or relatives both at home and at the destination of your planned route and estimated arrival time.
  • Communicate before you leave and when you arrive. If there is an emergency, and they have not heard from you, they can tell the authorities where to look.
  • If you get caught in bad weather, your car breaks down, or you’re delayed for any other reason, inform your contacts as soon as possible.


Fill your tank when it's at least half empty.

  • You are less likely to run out while stuck in traffic or bad weather.
  • You'll be ready to go in an evacuation with fighting others at the pump.
  • You'll have more that you could use for heat.

Know all gas stations along your route.

  • Mark gas stations and auto shops along your route, keeping a list of their phone numbers.
  • You’ll know who to call if you have vehicle trouble.
  • If you have roadside assistance, be sure to have the phone number handy.