Try to think of emergency preparedness as a culture. This includes habits like keeping you gas tank at least half full, always having cash in case and electrical outage prevents credit card use, and having external batteries charged for cell phones.
Assemble a kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
Think about what makes your family unique, and try to ensure you are prepared to meet those unique needs in case of an emergency or evacuation. Unique needs could include access or functional needs, infants, elderly family members, or special medical needs.
For a downloadable emergency checklist, visit our Helpful Resources section.