Families often become separated in an emergency or are simply at different locations when an emergency happens. As part of your family emergency plan, you should discuss at least three separate rally points with your family.
The first location should be near your home, though not in it! Small scale disasters, such as a home fire, can cause a family to be separated just as easily as large scale disasters. It is important that everyone know where to go in such a case. Choose a favorite sidewalk, cul-de-sac, playground or friendly neighbors house for your first location.
The second location should be near your childrens schools. Ideally, some place that is open 24 hours and that your children can safely walk to. Police departments, drug stores, libraries are all good candidates. If your children are off to college, you should discuss whether or not you will come to them or if they should try to come home on their own. It may be that they are closer to one of the more distant rally points and so you should all plan on meeting there.
The first two locations are ideal for relatively small disasters that are limited to your immediate area. You should consider at least one additional location that is sufficiently distant from your home to be outside of the scope of most small-scale natural disasters such as a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake. A distant relative is a good choice.
Finally, you must discuss these locations and their use with your family, and certainly with any homeowner or relative whose home is a designated rally point. Knowing where to go in an emergency, and where to expect your family to be, is one less thing for you and your family to worry about.