Be Prepared

Make a Plan

Disasters often strike quickly and without warning. A disaster can force you to evacuate your home or office, separate you from your family and affect your access to every day necessities like food, water and electricity.

Making a plan for your family or business is essential to answering questions like:

  • Where do I go if I can’t find my family members?
  • What do we do if we do not have water or electricity?
  • How quickly can my business re-open?

To answer these questions and create your own family or business emergency plan, click here.

Learn about and prepare for:


Build a Kit

Building a disaster kit is an easy way to protect your family and business during an emergency. A disaster kit makes resources necessary to keep you and your family or your business safe during and after a disaster easily accessible.

Your disaster kit supplies should be stored in an easy-to-carry container.

Here are some examples of great disaster kit containers:

  • Large, hard-sided container (ex: plastic storage container)
  • Camping backpack
  • Duffle bag

Keep your kit stored in a convenient place that is known to all family members or employees. You should also keep a smaller version of this disaster kit in your car.

Your disaster kit should include enough supplies to last you and your family for a minimum of 3 days!

#1 Water

Store water in plastic containers such as empty soft drink bottles or milk jugs. Avoid containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more.

Store one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for food preparation/sanitation). Store 1 1/2 to 2 gallons a day for the elderly. Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.

#2 Food

Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little to no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno (canned heat) or a camping stove. Select compact and lightweight foods.

The following items make good emergency rations:

  • Emergency food bars (specially designed to provide nutrients and calories)
  • Military MRE rations (no cooking required)
  • Dehydrated camping meals (may require cooking)
  • Canned or bagged tuna, chicken and ham. Can be made into sandwiches or cooked with pasta or rice side dishes.
  • Granola bars and energy bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Individually wrapped snacks and puddings
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Hard candy, such as peppermints
  • Just-add-water side dishes to mix with canned meat and vegetables
  • Can opener

When purchasing food for your emergency kit or to stock up before a storm, remember to purchase items you would normally eat, so you will eat the leftovers after the storm.

#3 First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and for each car. A first aid kit should include:

  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Latex gloves (2 pairs)
  • Sunscreen
  • 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
  • Triangular bandages (3)
  • 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Sewing needle
  • Moist towelettes
  • Antiseptic
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue depressors (2)
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for stomach upset)
  • Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
  • Laxative
  • Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

#4 Clothing and Bedding

  • A set of clean bedding and extra set of clean clothes for you and your family members are very important during an evacuation because laundry facilities may not be available. You also may be away from your home for an extended period of time.
  • Remember to dress for the weather and pack extra shoes and rain gear, like ponchos and umbrellas.
  • Keep a supply of clean clothes and bedding as part of your emergency kit in an easy-to-carry suitcase or duffle bag.

#5 Tools and Supplies

  • Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils (mess kits)
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Plastic sheeting (10′ by 10′)
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Whistle
  • A corded telephone
  • Household chlorine bleach
  • One complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
  • Rain gear
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

#6 Special Items

For Baby

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications (2 weeks supply)

For Adults

  • Medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs (2 weeks’ supply)
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Entertainment
  • Games and books

Important Family Documents – Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:

  • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Passports, social security cards, immunization records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

Don’t Forget

  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags.
  • Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh.
  • Replace your stored food every six months.
  • Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year.
  • Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

Get Trained

Learning basic skills like first-aid and CPR can save lives. There are many local opportunities for you, your family members and employees to get this basic training.

For more information of General Disaster Preparedness please see below:

Commuter Emergency Plan

Make sure you have a plan for traveling between work and home, and other commonly visited locations, in case of an emergency. Before an emergency happens, list your normal and some alternative routes you can use to get to your destinations. Keep a copy of this plan in your wallet or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities

Your ability to recover from an emergency tomorrow may depend on the planning and preparation you do today. This guide provides tips which individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, and the people who assist and support them, can take to prepare for emergencies before they happen.

Prepare For Emergencies Now: Information For Older Americans

Preparing Makes Sense for Older Americans. Get Ready Now. The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies from fires and floods to potential terrorist attacks. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. This guide outlines commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen. Preparing makes sense for older Americans. Get Ready Now.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Pet Owners.

Create a preparedness plan for your pets and their well being during emergency situations.

Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.

This common sense framework is designed to launch a process of learning about Citizen Preparedness. For the most current information and recommendations, go online to

Emergency Supply List

Items to consider for a Basic Family Emergency Supply list.

Family Communication Plan for Kids (English)

Family communication plan template designed for kids to organize emergency contact phone numbers and identify an emergency meeting place.

Family Communication Plan for Parents (English)

Family communication plan template designed for parents to organize emergency contact phone numbers and identify an emergency meeting place.

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