Close Menu

Emergency Communication Plan

Flooding, tornadoes, snowstorms and severe thunderstorms are just a few of the most common disasters Indiana faces. Knowing how to communicate during a natural disaster or other crisis is a vital step in being prepared before one of these events.

Emergency Communications Tips

  • Communication Plan Components
    Radio tower

    Communicating during an emergency situation can be difficult. Communication can be cut off completely or be severely limited. Consider the following information when making a household emergency communication plan:

    • Understand how each disaster could impact forms of communication.
    • Designate an out-of-state contact person.
    • Choose a place for household members to meet if separated during a disaster.
    • Make sure every household member understands who to call and where to meet.
    • Regularly practice the communication plan.
    • Create a copy of emergency contact numbers for every household member and disaster kit.
    • Share information about emergency preparation so everyone can be ready.

    Download communications plan checklist and template

    When communicating during a disaster:

    • Stay on the line: Do not hang up if a busy signal is heard. Stay on the line until a dial tone is heard, then place the call as normal.
    • Try cell phones and landlines: If a loved one cannot be reached by a cell phone, try using a landline.
    • Try texting: If a cell tower is damaged and not functioning properly, text messages may get through even though a call cannot.
    • Internet options: If possible, communicating through email or social networking sites may prove effective. Also, try finding someone through the American Red Cross Safe and Well program.
  • Suggested Emergency Contacts
    Woman looking troubled holding a cell phone

    With access to current technology, many individuals no longer have phone numbers memorized. Consider compiling a paper list including the following phone numbers, to access in the event that those saved in a phone are unavailable.

    • Loved ones
    • Neighbors
    • Out-of-state contact
    • Doctor
    • Veterinarian
    • Poison control
    • Police department, fire department, ambulance service
    • Utility companies
    • Insurance companies


Business Communications Planning (Ready.gov)
Continuity of Operations (IDHS)
Downloadable Family Communication Plan Templates (Ready.gov)

IDHS logo
IDHS logo

IDHS At the Ready

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) recognizes communications systems are vital during emergencies and maintains the following capabilities: