Creating a Communications Plan for Family and Friends

It is very important to stay in contact with family and friends during an emergency. Because not all communication vehicles may work after a disaster or emergency, it is crucial to have a plan for how you will communicate. Click here for a brochure which offers tips on how to create one.


  • Designate a single family contact outside your area – be sure family, friends and/or roommates know who this contact is and how to reach them.
  • Notify family and friends if you are affected by an emergency so that they know where you are. If you can’t notify them, notify your family contact person.
  • Do not call 911 or Public Safety Department unless you need immediate assistance (Police, Fire, Ambulance) – check the Emergency Preparedness website or call Public Safety’s information Line at 781-239-4636 for official information.
  • In case of a campus-wide emergency, you will be notified through Olin’s Emergency Alert System. Make sure your information is kept up to date in that system.
  • During major emergencies, family can obtain updated information by calling 781-239-4636 or visiting the Emergency Preparedness website.
  • Remember to check in regularly at home to let family know you're safe, especially in an emergency situation. They may have heard about the emergency on the news and be worried about you.
  • Consider adding the entry ICE ("in case of emergency") to your cell's phonebook with the number of the designated family contact who should be contacted in the event of an emergency.
  • Click on the following FEMA link to learn more about developing a Family Emergency Plan. You may also use the following MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) link as an aid and guide to make a plan that will help keep you and your Families safe.

In a very large disaster in the U.S.; if you cannot reach family members, consider using the American Red Cross Safe and Well List to search for missing family members/friends. For international disasters try the International Committee of the Red Cross Family Links website.