It is very Important to be prepared beforehand before disasters and other emergencies occur. Both natural and human disasters can strike suddenly and without warning. There are three actions that everyone can take in order to prepare for disasters.
Get a Kit
You need to have at least enough basic supplies for three days. Keep these supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency kit that you can use at home or take with you to use if you need to evacuate. These basic supplies can include:
- Water – each person will need one gallon per day. A 2 day supply will be need for an evacuation circumstance and a 2 week supply will be needed for home.
- Food- these need to be non perishable and easy-to-prepare items. A 2 day supply will be need for an evacuation circumstance and a 2 week supply will be needed for home.
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra Batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Sanitation items
- Personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents including medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to your home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies, etc.
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash monies
Make a plan
- Start by meeting with your family or household members
- Discuss how you all will prepare for and respond to emergencies that are most likely to occur in your living, work, learning, or play area.
- Identify the responsibilities of each member of your household in an emergency situation and plan to work together as a team.
- If you have a family member that is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
- Plan out what you all would do in the event you all were separated in an emergency situation.
- Plan what to do in case evacuation is necessary.
Be well informed
Learning what type of disasters or emergencies may occur in your area is one of the most important things that you can do. These events can range anywhere from those affecting only you and your family, to those affecting your entire community.
- Find out how your local authorities will notify you during a disasters and how you will be able to get information, whether through radio, television or NOAA Weather stations or channels.
- Get to know the difference between different weather alerts such as “watches” and “warnings” and what actions you should take in each.
- Know what sort of actions you should take in order to protect yourself and your family during disasters that are likely to occur in the area that you live in. Or if you have moved to a new area recently that may be more prone to different types of disasters than those that occurred in your previous place of residence, make sure you become informed about how to properly protect yourself if one of these occur.
- Make sure that at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR and knows how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).
- Share everything that you learn regarding disaster preparation with your family, household, and neighbors, and encourage them to be informed at all times.
- Get emergency Contact Cards for all Household Members online.
For a full list of supplies and preparedness tips, download the Be Red Cross Ready Checklist.