Be A Fam With A Plan

A mother, son, father and daughter sit at a couch looking at a map for their family emergency plan. Emergency supplies and food are on the coffee table. Backpacks and clothes are on the couch and floor.

It’s not pleasant to think about worst-case scenarios, but a little planning can make a big difference if the worst happens. Follow these tips to avoid feeling helpless during a disaster.



  • Talk with your family about who to call, where to go and what to do if disaster strikes. 


  • Plan different strategies for different situations. Map out a fire escape route from all areas of your home, and establish a safe place to go during threatening weather. 
  • Make sure all family members know their full names, address and phone numbers. Agree on an out-of-town relative or friend to call if you get separated during a disaster, and have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact in your cell phone whom first responders can call if needed.


  • Set up warning systems in your home—fire detectors and carbon monoxide alarms give advance notice that can save lives. 
  • Buy a battery-operated weather radio for advance storm warnings if the power goes out, and subscribe to your local Office of Emergency Management alerts by text or email if available. 
  • Keep an emergency kit handy that contains five days worth of nonperishable food and water, medical supplies, a list of phone numbers (including Benton REA and other utilities’ outage numbers), prescriptions and important documents. 
  • Plan for pets or any special needs of family members
  • Practice your emergency plans.


Keep calm: 

  • Think clearly and follow your plan. Use the resources you prepared in case of emergencies.

Have extra battery power:

  • Keep several charged power banks on hand so you can charge at least one phone. During extended outages, use the phone sparingly to reserve power.


Be patient:

  • Wait for all danger to pass. Never reenter an evacuated area without permission to do so, and remember to use caution when you do go back into your home—you can’t always see danger, such as a ruptured gas line.

Avoid delayed danger:

  • Do not approach downed wires or power lines, and watch for rising waters.
  • Keep standby generators in well-ventilated areas—never run a generator indoors, even in a garage.

How to Report a Benton REA Outage



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