A Personal Support Network is a group of people who come together to help keep one another safe in an emergency. The people in your Personal Support Network will work with you to prepare for a disaster. You might practice evacuating together, or work with one another to prepare emergency kits for your car, home, and to carry with you on your person.

Here are some tips on how to develop your Personal Support Network:

  • Ask people you know and trust to be part of your Personal Support Network. Members of your Network can be relatives, neighbors, co-workers, or friends.
  • You should have at least three people in your Personal Support Network for each location you spend a lot of time at (home, work, school, volunteer sites, etc.).
  • Give copies of your Emergency Information, Medical Information, and Disability-Related Supply lists to members of your Personal Support Network.
  • Have members of your Personal Support Network check on you if emergency officials issue an evacuation order, or if a disaster occurs. If you are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, have members of your Personal Support Network contact you when a siren or loudspeaker announces an emergency.
  • Do not count on phone service during an emergency. Decide on signals members of your Personal Support Network can use in an emergency that all of you will understand. For instance, you can hang sheets outside your windows, shout to each other or use high- pitched noisemakers or bells to let one another know if an emergency is happening.
  • Share important keys with your Personal Support Network so that they can enter your home, car, or other places if they need to.
  • If you use special equipment of any sort, make sure members of your Personal Support Network know how to operate and safely move it. It is a good idea to make labels with instructions for your equipment.
  • If you have a service animal, make sure the animal is familiar with members of your Personal Support Network. This will make it easier on your animal if it needs to receive care from someone other than yourself.
  • If you need any type of personal assistance, make sure members of your Personal Support Network know what you need and how to provide it.
  • Practice evacuating from your home, office, or school with members of your Personal Support Network.
  • You should choose an emergency meeting place where you can reunite with your Personal Support Network after evacuating from your home, school, or office. Select a signal you can use to let your Personal Support Network know that you have safely evacuated if you cannot meet in person.
  • Review and revise your plan with your Personal Support Network every six months, or as your situation changes.
  • Be sure to let your Personal Support Network know when you plan to travel!