Does your family have an emergency preparedness plan? With a new iPhone application from the Insurance Information Institute (http://www.iii.org/), you can not only find valuable information on disaster preparedness, but quickly and easily develop an emergency plan and even share it with others.

Being prepared is the best way to mitigate against an emergency escalating into a tragedy. Even though we don’t get many regularly-occurring natural disasters here in the northeast, we do have some extreme weather, including heavy snows, flash floods and even the occasional hurricane or tornado. Being unfamiliar with many of the more extreme possibilities is all the more reason to take a few minutes to outline what you and your family would do if there were an emergency.

If you’re not sure where to start, the III’s app includes many customizable templates, including a checklist for readying an emergency kit, and an evacuation plan, complete with a contingency for pets. The app also has such useful features as a location-based emergency alert, sending evacuation routes and other relevant information in the event of a disaster or extreme weather event. You can learn more about it here.