Resource Box

Emergency Phone Numbers

The Santa Clara Country fire department offers this list of emergency phone numbers around the world.

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Prepare for Emergencies

"Be Prepared" isn't just for Boy Scouts. Emergencies are unlikely to happen but if one occurs it can be devastating so it's worth it to be ready.

What do you do if a child falls and skins a knee or someone gets sunburned? Those are small emergencies that can be handled by a first aid kit. The surprising thing is that many people don't have one. They also don't know how to handle many everyday emergencies. If you don't have a first aid kit available, please add it to your list of things to do and be sure you get it before your family reunion. You can find first aid kits at almost any large box store or supermarket or you can order one online.

You may also want to take a class in first aid or ask another family member to do so.

Emergency Phone Numbers

Another important thing is to know the emergency phone number for the location where you'll hold your reunion. If you're holding the reunion in a place that's unfamiliar to many family members, be sure to let everyone know.

In the United States and several other countries, the emergency number is usually 911. In a large number of countries, it is 112. A few countries use 999 or 000 and in still others, there may be separate numbers for ambulance, fire and police. Check to make sure what the number is (or numbers are), then give a copy to everyone who comes to the family reunion, perhaps in a registration packet.

The Santa Clara County, California, Fire Department provides a list of emergency numbers for all the countries of the world on its web site at Click the link to find the emergency number for the country where you'll hold your family reunion. (It opens in a new window or tab.)

Disaster Coordination

The odds are extremely small that a disaster such as a fire or earthquake will mar your family reunion. However, if it should happen the consequences are great. At the very least you'll want a way to make certain everyone is all right. To make sure people find each other, it's helpful to have two things for everyone:

  1. A place to meet that's near where most people are staying
  2. A contact phone number where family members can call to let others know where they are and that they're okay. This is usually someone who will NOT be at the reunion and will preferably be somewhere quite distant. That person should be willing to serve in an emergency and know how to contact you and several other reunion participants.

These items should be in the registration materials for all but the smallest reunions. It doesn't hurt to post them in several conspicuous places, too. Make sure they are large enough they will be seen. If you print name tags, consider adding lines that says:

Family Reunion Contact Number: [phone number]
Local Emergency Number: [phone number]

This might help if a child or elderly family member wanders off and becomes confused or lost.

Remember to mention about emergency phone numbers and meeting places when you hold your first gathering together as a family and at other times and places you feel it will be helpful.