When Disaster strikes, you may not have time to act!!!

Prepare NOW for a sudden emergency. Learn how to protect yourself and cope with a disaster by planning ahead.

For additional information about how to prepare for hazards in your community, contact your Local Emergency Management and your Local American Red Cross Chapter. You can also contact FEMA and ask for their document entitled "Are you Ready?"

This checklist will help you get started. Discuss these ideas with your family, then prepare an emergency plan. Post the plan where everyone will see it-- on the refrigerator or bulletin board.


Create an Emergency Plan

Meet with household members
  1. Discuss with children the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes and other emergencies.
  2. Discuss how to respond to each disaster that could occur.
  3. Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.
  4. Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.
  5. Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at mail switches.
  6. Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.
  7. Teach children how and when to call 911, police and fire.
  8. Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information .
  9. Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative to call if seperated by disaster (it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area).
  10. Teach children how to make long distance telephone calls.
  11. Pick two meeting places: One place near your home in case of a fire, and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
  12. Take a basic first aid and CPR class .
  13. Keep family records in a water and fire-proof container.

Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit

Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry container. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
  1. A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
  2. A change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes.
  3. Blankets or sleeping bags.
  4. A first aid kit and prescription medications.
  5. An extra pair of glasses.
  6. Water.
  7. A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
  8. An extra set of car keys.
  9. A list of family physicians.
  10. A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers.
  11. Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.

Home Hazard Hunt

In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire in a potential hazard.
  1. Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections.
  2. Fasten shelves securely.
  3. Place large, heavy objects on lower shelves.
  4. Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds.
  5. Brace overhead light fixtures.
  6. Secure water heater. Strap to wall studs.
  7. Repair cracks in ceilings or foundations
  8. Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products away from heat sources.
  9. Place oily polishing rags or waste in covered metal cans.
  10. Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and gas vents.

If you Need to Evacuate

Listen to a battery powered radio for the location of emergency sheltors. Follow instructions of local officials.
  1. Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
  2. Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
  3. Lock Your house.
  4. Use travel routes specified by local officials.

    If you are sure you have time...

  5. Shut off water, gas, and electricity, IF instructed to do so.
  6. Let others know when you left and where you are going.
  7. Make arrangements for pets. Animals may not be allowed in public shelters.

Prepare an Emergency Car Kit

  1. Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  2. Flashlight and extra batteries
  3. Blanket
  4. Sturdy Shoes
  5. Booster cables
  6. Fire extinguisher (5lb. A-B-C type)
  7. First aid kit and manual
  8. Bottled water and non-perishable high energy foods such as granola bars, raisins and peanut butter.
  9. Maps
  10. Shovel
  11. Tire repair kit and pump
  12. Flares

Fire Safety

  1. Plan two escape routes out of each room.
  2. Teach family members to stay low to the ground when escaping from a fire.
  3. Teach family members never to open doors that are hot.
    In a fire, feel the bottom of the door with the palm of your hand.
    If it is hot, DO NOT open the door. Find another way out.
  4. Install smoke detectors.
    Clean and test smoke detectors once a month. Change batteries at least once a year.
  5. Keep a whistle in each bedroom to awaken household members in case of fire.
  6. Check electrical outletss. Do not overload outlets.
  7. Purchase a fire extinguisher (5lb., A-B-C type).
  8. Have a collapsible ladder on each upper floor of your house.
  9. Consider installing home sprinklers.