Personal Preparedness

Make sure your home is safe. In case of fire, ensure that your street numbers are visible using reflective numbers to allow the fire department to easily spot your home. Consider having a landline phone in case cell phone reception is not available. Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly and the batteries are changed once a year. A good reminder is to always change your batteries at the same time you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time. Also, be sure your hallways and exits are clear so if you need to evacuate you can get out as easily as possible.

Steps to Plan & Prepare

  • Assemble emergency kits for your car, your home, your animals, and each person in your family.
  • Keep copies of important documents in an offsite location.
  • Mark your calendar to review your plan, check supplies and conduct drills every six months.
  • Learn how to shut off your utilities.
  • Discuss and plan at least two exit routes from rooms, home, and neighborhood.
  • Choose two locations to reunite, one outside your home and another outside your neighborhood.
  • Choose a long-distance emergency contact in case local services are disrupted.
  • Make plans for children in case you are not together when disaster strikes.
  • Think about caring for people with special needs.
  • Plan to care for your animals.
  • Keep the gas tank in your car the least half full.

Whatever you do, stay calm! Stop what you are doing. Look around you and carefully assess the situation. Listen for instructions on the radio or television.

Know how and when to shut off your utilities. Never attempt to turn the gas back on yourself. Call the power company if you cannot restore electricity or if it seems dangerous. If you suspect damage to water lines, do not flush the toilet, but do turn off the water so contamination does not occur.

Have an emergency kit for your household, your car, your pets, and a Go-bag for each family member in case of evacuation. Store your kits in locations that are easily accessible yet protected from damage that may occur to your home.


  • Sanitation supplies (soap, liquid detergent, unscented bleach with eyedropper, heavy-duty garbage bags)
  • First aid kit and handbook
  • Duct tape
  • Personal hygiene supplies (include feminine supplies, diapers, tissues, toilet paper, and pre-moistened wipes)
  • Flashlights, battery-operated lanterns, portable radio (with extra batteries and bulbs)
  • Plates, pots, utensils, paper towels
  • Manual can opener, camp stove, grill, foil, fuel for cooking, lighter, utility knife
  • Warm clothing, rain gear, sleeping bags, mats blankets, sturdy shoes, tent or heavy-duty plastic sheeting
  • Gloves, goggles, crowbar, hammer, staple gun, wrench
  • Permanent marker
  • Whistle


  • First aid kit and handbook
  • Hand sanitizer and/or wipe
  • Class ABC fire extinguisher
  • Portable radio, flashlight and extra batteries
  • Non-perishable food and water
  • Reflectors/flares
  • Tools for a minor auto repair, including tire changing
  • Short rubber hose for siphoning
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency blankets
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Lighter and/or waterproof matches
  • Utility knife
  • Other; paper, pencils, maps, tissues, garbage bags and baggies, permanent marker, toilet paper, paper towels


  • Food and water
  • First aid kit and handbook
  • Five-day supply of medications and copies of prescriptions
  • Whistle
  • Map of area
  • Personal hygiene supplies
  • Emergency lighting (including batteries)
  • Garbage bags and baggies
  • Change of clothes and sturdy shoes
  • Dust mask
  • Rain poncho
  • Emergency blanket
  • Permanent marker
  • Lighter and/or waterproof matches
  • Utility knife
  • Cash in small denominations