It has been disheartening to watch the news about tornados in the midwest. Listening to the devastation is overwhelming, however, as I've listened to the news stories I am trying to learn what helps others prepare for disasters. We do not live in torado alley, but there is always something to learn. Contacting family members appears to be a major challenge in any disaster. Cell phone usage is limited, though texting sometimes will work. Wireless telephones to not work without power, but landlines (phones that do not require electricity but plug into a telephone line) do work, however many people no longer have landlines. You can read more about communications during a disaster here.
Some things to consider:
Make a hard copy of emergency contact numbers for each family member.
Update this list at least every 6 months
Include 2 to 3 meeting places outside the home
Include 2 to 3 contact numbers with the first one being out of state
List the local news channel and radio station that will have emergency information
Places to Keep These Numbers
In kids school bags (they could be on their way home and not at school when an emergency happens)
In wallets or purses
You can find several family emergency plans and emergency cards at Ready.gov