Share what you learned with response participants & implement improvements.
Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate.
Respond when called and provide assistance within your area of training/credentialing!
What went right? What went wrong? Improvements.
How to be Disaster Ready
Make a Plan
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.
How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
What is my shelter plan?
What is my evacuation route?
What is my family/household communication plan?
Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.
As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:
Different ages of members within your household
Responsibilities for assisting others
Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
Cultural and religious considerations
Pets or service animals
Households with school-aged children
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan
Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own.
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Download a printable version to take with you to the store. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
First aid kit
Whistle (to signal for help)
Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
Manual can opener (for food)
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Additional Emergency Supplies
Since Spring of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu.
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
Prescription medications. About half of all Americans take a prescription medicine every day. An emergency can make it difficult for them to refill their prescription or to find an open pharmacy. Organize and protect your prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and vitamins to prepare for an emergency.
Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Cash or traveler's checks
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
Matches in a waterproof container
Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
Paper and pencil
Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Maintaining Your Kit
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
Replace expired items as needed.
Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.
Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
Learn how you can help your community before, during and after a disaster or emergency.
Volunteer & Donate
During disaster response, affected communities depend heavily on local and national volunteer organizations to provide trained volunteers and much-needed donated supplies. Get involved today by donating to or volunteering with a reputable organization.
Join a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program and get trained on basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
During a disaster, you can donate to a reputable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD), and volunteer to respond to disasters and help your community. Remember, after a disaster, the best way to help is to donate cash to nonprofits organizations.
Volunteer with your local community or a national organization to support preparedness efforts in your community.
Train & Educate
You could help save countless lives by taking simple actions to prepare your community or organization for a disaster before one strikes. FEMA offers free trainings and education tools to train yourself and others on the best ways to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster or emergency.
You Are the Help Until Help Arrives, designed by FEMA, are offered as online or in-person trainings where you learn the basics of how to save a life before a professional arrives.
Teach preparedness curriculum in your school or childcare facility. Download everything you need for grades K-12 through our Ready Kids program.
Promote preparedness online by sharing preparedness tips on your social media accounts with Ready’s online social media toolkit or public service announcements.
Take a free online independent study course through FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute or a CPR course through the American Red Cross and gain more knowledge to help your community become more prepared.
Take FEMA’s OPEN training to prepare your Community Based Organization for emergency needs.
Information presented was directly sourced from "Ready.gov," an official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.