Family Preparedness

Step 1:
Find out what could happen

Contact your local emergency management office of the American Red Cross.

  • What types of action should be taken for flash floods, tornadoes, hazardous material spills etc?
  • How would you help the elderly and disabled?
  • Find out if there is a disaster plan at your workplace and / or your child's school or daycare.
  • Think about the care of your pets
  • Determine where your local shelters are and the best access to them.

Step 2:
Prepare a disaster plan

Discuss with your family the importance of preparing a disaster plan. Share responsibilities and work together as a team

  • Talk about the different types of disasters that are most likely to happen and what to do for each one.
  • Regularly conduct drills and practice your plan.
  • Establish meeting places in case of separation right outside the home and outside of your neighborhood if you are unable to return home.
  • Have an out-of-state "family contact". Every family member should call this person and tell them where they are. Make sure everyone knows the contact's phone number.
  • Make a plan with neighbors on how the neighborhood could work together if a disaster would strike. Also, make arrangements with neighbors for child care in case parents cannot make it home.

Step 3:
Complete this checklist

  • Keep a list of important telephone numbers by the phone.
  • Be sure children know how and when to dial 9-1-1.
  • Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity.
  • Check to see if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Teach family members how to use a fire extinguisher and where it is kept.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector and routinely replace the batteries.
  • Find the best escape route from your home and determine your evacuation route.
  • Practice your plan.
  • Prepare an Emergency Supply kit.
  • If a generator is used, you will need proper electrical circuits and sufficient ventilation.

Emergency Supplies

  • Three days supply of water, one gallon per person
  • Non-perishable food that does not require cooking
  • Eating utensils, manual can opener
  • Change of clothing and footwear per person
  • Blankets and sleeping bags
  • First-aid kit, including prescription medicine
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses
  • Battery powered radio and flashlight, plus plenty of extra batteries
  • Extra set of car keys, cash, and credit cards
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Important family documents
  • Proper identification
  • Basic tool kit (pliers, wrench, hammer, nails, plus rope and gas shut off wrench)