You never know when you may face an emergency. That’s why it’s important to have an emergency response plan for the places you go the most. Planning now can make a big difference later.

Here are some tips for how to get prepared before a crisis happens:

  • Establish a meeting place. Have an evacuation plan and a set meeting place away from your home. This will save time and avoid confusion if you need to leave your home. You should also have an emergency plan to care for your pets. Remember, your pets depend on you for safety.
  • Have an emergency contact. Choose an out-of-town contact your family will email or call to check on each other if an event like severe weather happens. Your contact should live far enough away that he or she would not be affected by the same event. Make sure to let that person know he or she is your contact.
  • Assemble an emergency survival kit. If you need to leave your house or are asked to “shelter in place,” have key supplies on hand that will make life easier. Prepare an emergency kit in a duffel bag or small plastic trashcan. Be sure to keep your medical, prescription and insurance information in your wallet or disaster kit.
  • Check on your child’s school emergency plan. Meet with your family to make an emergency response plan together. You will also need to know if your child’s school will keep children at school until a parent or adult can pick them up or send them home on their own. Be sure the school has current information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pickup.
  • Prepare your mobile phone. Set up your cell phone with a lock screen photo with your emergency contact information so it will be available to emergency helpers. Adding an image to your lock screen is easy. There are emergency contact apps for both iOS and Android phones. Go to your app store and search for “emergency contact” to see all your app choices.
  • Prepare your car. You can buy an emergency kit for your car at most major retailers. has a handy list for getting your car ready.

We’re Ready to Help in Emergencies and Severe Weather

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is here to help you if you’ve been impacted by natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. We can help you:

  • Clarify benefits
  • Find a network doctor, hospital or dialysis center
  • Refill prescription medications early
  • Ensure that transition of care or continuity of care needs are met

If you do not have your member ID card on hand, call customer service: 800-541-2768. 

More Helpful Tips

  • In an emergency situation, go directly to the nearest hospital.
  • For non-emergency care needs, call customer service to find a network provider.
  • Bring your member ID card when you go to the doctor or hospital.
  • If you don’t have your member ID card, call customer service or print a temporary card. To print a temporary card, log in to Blue Access for MembersSM.