Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families and individuals should know what to do in the event of a fire and where to seek shelter during a tornado. They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs.
Disasters disrupt thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property. You should be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water and sanitation.
Get an Emergency Supply Kit
Water and nonperishable food
Battery-powered or hand crank radio with extra batteries
Small hand tools, including a manual can opener, flashlight with extra batteries, screwdriver, pliers, and a knife
Dust masks to help filter contaminated air
Personal sanitation supplies such as moist towelettes and garbage bags
Important personal and financial documents such as drivers licenses, passports, bank accounts, credit card account numbers, birth certificates, adoption papers, wills, powers of attorney, insurance policies, real estate documents, and vehicle titles
Prescription medications and glasses
Cash or traveler’s checks
Make a Plan
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance. How will you get back together? How will you contact one another?
Make an evacuation plan
Designate meeting places, both within and outside your immediate neighborhood
Make a family communications plan
Have an out-of-town contact to communicate among separated family members
Be sure all family members have information in writing, and remember your pets
There are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them.
Get involved with local organizations. Be willing to volunteer and meet your neighbors.