West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

DHHR Press Release -- State Health Officer Urges Residents to Develop Family Emergency Plan during September: National Preparedness Month


The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Center for Threat Preparedness is urging the public to plan for emergencies by developing a family emergency plan that suits each family’s individual needs.

“September is National Preparedness Month, a good time for the public to engage in personal preparedness planning and develop or revise their family emergency plan,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.  “If you already have a plan in place, you should determine if anything needs to be adjusted since it was first developed. It needs to not only be fluid, but up-to-date.”

This year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s PrepareAthon! theme is Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make your Family Emergency Plan Today. A family emergency plan or family communication plan involves planning out logistics and communication strategies to use during disasters and emergencies before they pose a threat.

Dr. Gupta added, “West Virginians need to discuss with family members where you will meet during an emergency, at what point will you evacuate your house, and how will you contact loved ones if traditional means of communication are not available.  It’s also important to identify an out-of-state point of contact, someone with whom you could stay if the entire state was affected by an emergency.”

Ready.gov offers easy-to-use templates that make the process straightforward, as well as contact cards for kids with family members’ information.  Building a family emergency plan doesn’t need to take a lot of time and should involve the entire family.

“Make it a fun, learning experience,” said Dr. Gupta. “This can be presented as a family event, and kids will enjoy using their creativity with planning.”

For more information, visit http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/healthprep.

Contact Information

Media contact: DHHRCommunications@wv.gov or (304) 558-7899