Begin preparing for an emergency now
There are three easy steps to preparing for an emergency:
- Get a Kit
- Make a Plan
- Be Informed
- A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
- Try to assemble your 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.
- For more information about how to build a kit and what to put in it, please visit Ready.gov's Build a Kit page.
- Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance: how you will get to a safe place; how you will contact one another; how you will get back together and what you will do in different situations.
- For more information on how to develop a plan, please visit Ready.gov's Make a Plan page.
- Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime. Americans also travel more than ever before to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk of near their homes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
- Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards. For example, safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating depends on the specific emergency. Developing a family communications plan or making an emergency supply kit are the same for accidental emergencies, natural disasters and also terrorism. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.
- Before a disaster, learn how you will know there is an impending hazardous event. Familiarize yourself with the signs of events that come without warning and know the local advance alerts and warnings and how you will receive them. Knowing about the local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation and local emergency contacts will help you develop your household plan and will also aid you during a crisis.
- Learning what to do in different situations and developing and customizing your plans for your local hazards, the locations frequented by members of your household and the specific needs of household members including animals will help you reduce the impact of disasters and may save lives and prevent injuries.
- For more information on being informed, please visit Ready.gov's Be Informed page..