Gathering Up Loved Ones

  • Your family may not all be in one place when a disaster hits. It’s important to plan ahead.

    How will you get to a safe place? How you will contact each other? How you will get back together? What will you do in different situations?

    The resources below can help you plan before a disaster, so you can find everyone you care about after, including your pets.

    Finding Lost Family and Friends

    Make a Plan - Does everyone in your family know what to do, where to go, and who to contact in an emergency? Make a family communication plan so everyone can be prepared. (

    Safe and Well - After a disaster, you can let your family and friends know that you’re safe. You can register yourself as “safe and well” or search to find loved ones. (American Red Cross)

    National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS) - NEFRLS helps reunite families separated by a disaster. You can register so people can find you. Those who want to find you can register to get your status. The system is only activated after disasters with mass evacuations. (FEMA)

    Contact Loved Ones - Use this free emergency voicemail service to help you get in touch with family and friends. You can create a message for those you can’t reach. People who can’t reach you can leave a message for you. (Project Genesis)

    Next Of Kin Registry (NOKR) - This is a free emergency contact system to help if you or a loved one is missing, injured, or has died. You can register at any time. Only emergency agencies registered with NOKR can view your information, but they can use it to contact your family when you can’t. (NOKR)

  • Finding and Caring for Pets

    Caring for Animals - Use these guidelines to help you make a plan for your pet during a disaster. You may not be able to take them to a public shelter with you, so you need to plan ahead for their care. You can also learn what to do for large animals. (

    Helping Pets - Disasters are traumatic for pets, too. Their behavior may change. They may get confused or even lost. Get advice about how to care for your pet or locate a missing pet after a disaster. (FEMA)

    Missing Pet Network - Get advice on looking for lost pets. And you can even find advice specific to cats. You can report lost or found animals, and search the listings by state. (Missing Pet Network)

    Last Updated: 12/18/2014