Emergency Preparedness 101

Emergency and disaster are everyone’s responsibility. You and your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, so it is important to put a plan in place ahead of time. Think about: how will you get to a safe place? How will you communicate with each other? How will you get back together if separated? Consider the impacts and types of disruption that can be caused by a disaster. The power may be out, the water and gas lines may be off or broken, roads may be closed or impassable, stores may be inaccessible or out of supplies. Start planning today to reduce the impacts of these disruptions to you and your family.

Identify a Safe Place in Your Home

Identify a safe place in your home and practice getting there quickly. The best locations include the basement, an interior room with no windows, a closet, etc. Avoid windows and doorways, as broken glass and flying debris can be a hazard.

Practice Home-Evacuation Drills

Practice evacuating your home quickly. Choose someplace close by for your family to meet. Expect a lack of transportation.

Educate Your Family Members and Children

Request a copy of your school district’s disaster policy regarding transportation and the release of students. Make reunification plans with your children and share plans with other caregivers.

Medical Preparedness

Take a first-aid course and learn CPR. If you or a family member is dependent on life-saving medication or oxygen, make plans for continuity of care. Keep critical phone numbers and your insurance policy numbers by your phone and in your wallet. Enter your ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers on your cellphone — this will tell emergency workers who to contact if you are hurt.

Meet Your Neighbors

Find out whether they have medical or other expertise. Plan to unite if your neighborhood becomes isolated. Help elderly, disabled or single-parent neighbors create an emergency plan.

Establish an Out-of-Area Contact

Ask an out-of-area (far enough to not be impacted by the same disaster or emergency) friend or relative to be your contact person. After a disaster, it can be much easier to reach someone who is out of the area and not impacted by the same disaster. Cellphones may not be able to make calls, however text messaging capabilities often work as they don’t take up as much time on the system.

Additional Resources

Resources for Kids

Resources for Pet Preparedness