Disaster can happen at any time, often with little warning. Preparing in advance can help you and your family stay safe and healthy should a disaster occur.
Being ready is as easy as 1-2-3!
Build a Kit
At a minimum, you should have these basic supplies:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day for at least 3 days
- Non-perishable foods for at least 3 days
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- First aid kit
- Any medications you or your family needs (at least a 7-day supply)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of any personal documents – medication list, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of area
Consider additional needs of family members when making a preparedness kit. Some additional supplies might include:
- Baby supplies - diapers, formula, baby food, bottles, etc.
- Medical supplies – hearing aid with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.
- Pet supplies – food, carrier, etc.
Make a Plan
Creating and practicing your emergency plan in advance will make sure your family knows what to do in case of a crisis. Different types of emergencies will require different responses. While some emergencies, like house fire or flood can occur anywhere, other emergencies are regionally specific. For a full list of emergencies, and how to prepare for them, refer to the Red Cross Types of Emergencies.
Many emergencies will require your family to evacuate. In the case that you get separated, make sure everyone knows where to meet. You should have two designated meeting locations, one locally and one outside of your neighborhood.
Identify how authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will stay informed throughout, whether through local radio, TV, NOAA Weather Radio stations, or by signing up for text message alerts.