Emergency Preparedness

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Why Prepare for a Disaster?

Remember: Always call 911 if a person(s) is seriously injured or in danger!

Disaster can strike without warning, forcing you to go for days without basic necessities or to evacuate your home. Relief workers will be on the scene following a disaster, but may not be able to reach you immediately.

You need to be prepared. Knowing the steps to take during a disaster–whether flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes or another crisis–can greatly reduce the danger and distress your family may face.

Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter to learn which disasters could strike your community. Use their information to help you prepare for and reduce the risks you face.

Creating a Basic Emergency Plan

Make A Plan

Having a plan is one of the most important steps you can take in disaster preparedness. Knowing what to do and how to do it can help your family manage disasters with less worry, fear and uncertainty.

  • Decide what you and your family would do in each potential emergency situation.
  • Draw a floor plan of your home showing escape routes.
  • Choose a place away from your neighborhood where family members can meet in case you are separated and cannot return home due to a disaster.
  • Identify a friend or relative who lives out of the area for family members to contact if you are separated.
  • Post emergency numbers in every phone and teach children how and when to call 911.
  • Know how to shut off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches in your home.
  • Plan how to help elderly or disabled neighbors in a disaster.
  • Check that your insurance policies are up-to-date and provide good coverage.

Preparing a Disaster Supply Kit

Having a disaster supply kit ready to take with you at a moment’s notice ensures that you will have necessary supplies no matter how fast you may need to evacuate. Pack supplies in duffel bags or backpacks and keep them in a designated place. Your kit will also come in handy if you must take shelter in your home. This list will help ensure that your disaster supply kit includes all the essentials.

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