Emergency preparedness is a concern for all residents in all states. Communities may be impacted by one or more types of hazards during a lifetime, and with Americans travelling more than ever before, there is more opportunity to be impacted by hazards away from home. 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.
FEMA offers helpful information on being informed, developing a family communications plan and making an emergency supply kit.
Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards, whether the emergency is a natural disaster, accident, or terrorism, for instance. Basic first steps such as safety and taking cover or evacuating are the same for many emergencies. However, there are important differences among events that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.
Make a Plan
Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster with an emergency plan. A printable Family Emergency Plan is available through the FEMA website. It will help you address the care of pets, aiding family members with access and functional needs, safely shutting off utilities, and other important considerations. Be sure to gather your family and discuss your plan.
Build a Kit
FEMA's guide on what to include in a disaster supplies kit can be found here. It is important to remember to keep the kit updated with fresh batteries and first aid supplies, non-perishable goods, pet food and basic essentials.