Disaster can strike quickly and without warning
. It can force you to evacuate
your neighborhood or confine you to your home
. What would you do if basic services, such as water, gas, electricity or telephones, were cut off?
Families cope with disaster by preparing in advance
and working together as a team
. Follow these steps to create your family's disaster plan. Emergency Supplies
Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least three days
. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in
sturdy, easy-to-carry containers, such as backpacks, duffle bags or
covered trash containers. Include:
- A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil.
- One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
- A first aid kit that includes your family's prescription medications.
- Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
- Sanitation supplies.
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
- An extra pair of glasses.
Keep important family documents
in a waterproof container
. Keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car. Utilities
Locate the main electric fuse box
, water service
main and natural gas
main. Learn how and when to turn these utilities off. Teach all
responsible family members. Keep necessary tools near gas and water
Remember, turn off the utilities only if you suspect the lines are damaged
or it you are instructed to do so. If you turn the gas off, you will need a professional to turn it back on. Create a Disaster Plan
Meet with your family and discuss
why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain
the dangers of fire and severe weather to children. You may use our Interactive Emergency Plan
to print and keep in an easy-to-find location.
Pick two places
- Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
- Outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
Complete This Checklist:
Practice and Maintain your Plan
- Ask an out-of-state friend to be your family contact.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by phone (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
- Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number for emergency help.
- Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
- Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
- Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher (ABC type), and show them where it's kept.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
- Conduct a home hazard hunt.
- Stock emergency supplies and assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit.
- Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
- Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
- Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do.
- Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
- Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
- Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.