The Law Enforcement Families Readiness Initiative

How Can Officers Prepare for Disaster?

Officer Implementation Plan

Officers must be required to acknowledge the adoption of any Family Readiness Policy and possess copies of policy documents to ensure they can review and comply with it. In addition, officers must take it upon themselves to go beyond the policy and ensure that they and their families are prepared in the event of a critical incident. The following areas are of most importance:

Communications – Officers should provide their agency with multiple contact numbers for their families. This will give the agency the ability to communicate the officer’s status to the family during a critical event. Officers should relay the agencies communication protocol to their family members so that they are able to employ it during a critical incident.

Financial Matters – Officers should review their family financial arrangements and seek guidance from relevant readiness websites addressing this area. Officers should switch to direct deposit to avoid a possible payroll interruption. Officers should make their family members aware of necessary financial information so that the family is able to continue to function even when the officer is required to be on duty and absent from home for an extended period of time. Officers should maintain a cash reserve to be used in the event of a critical incident.

Housing Concerns – Officers should plan for a shelter-in-place event and identify resources that the family can use. This includes maintaining minimal provisions at the home to allow the family to sustain itself for an extended period of time. Officers should explain the department’s family housing options (if available) and, in the event of an evacuation, should identify housing options beyond the area affected by the critical incident. For more information, go to In-Place Sheltering and Evacuation Items Checklist.

Family Preparedness Checklists – Officers shall provide Family Preparedness Checklists, obtained from their agency and online resources, to their families. The officer and family member should discuss their current state of family preparedness and identify areas that are deficient and need to be improved. Officers should review their preparedness plans with their families at least once a year.