Creating an Emergency Plan for Yourself and Your Family

An involved community is a prepared community, but you knowing what to do during a catastrophic event is not only your best protection but your responsibility as well.  No matter what type of event occurs it is prudent to assume that basic services such as water, electricity, phones and gas may be disrupted for a period of time.  Generally these services are restored first to facilities and structures that during a disaster assist in providing emergency and basic services to the public such as hospitals, water plants, fire stations, etc.

To best survive a disaster you should create a plan ahead of time that includes:

  • Informing yourself as to the types of catastrophic events that could affect you, your family and property in the area in which you live.
  • Teaching members of the family basic safety skills such as CPR, first aid; make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it.
  • Find the safest room in your home, your choice may vary depending on the type of event about to occur.
  • Make sure you have emergency numbers and website links handy and stored in multiple locations.  Everyone in the family should know how to dial 911.
  • Know how to turn off utilities such as gas, electricity and water valves and switches.
  • Have important documents located and stored in water tight bags within a fire proof safe.  Consider scanning all your important documents and keeping them on a USB flash drive or another secure location other than at their primary storage location.
  • Determine how your family will communicate, if separated, during different types of emergencies.
  • Have a plan for evacuating your home in the case of a fire; practice day and nighttime fire drills.  Take into consideration supplies needed for multi-story residences.
  • And just as important, how to care for how furry friends, and other pets; their needs matter too!

Disaster Supply Kit Sample Check List

This is a sample check list to use in creating your own custom supply kit tailored to meet your own needs.

Water – Five-day supply (one gallon per person per day)

Food – Five-day supply of non-perishable, canned or freeze dried (make sure you have a non-electric can opener)

Special dietary needs

First aid kit

Prescription medications

Sanitation and personal hygiene items

Change of clothing and sturdy, closed toe shoes

Sleeping supplies – Blankets, bedding or sleeping bags, pillows

Battery powered radio, weather radio, car or battery chargers for mobile devices, flashlights and plenty of extra batteries

Tools and supplies

Extra set of car keys

Cash and credit cards

Important family documents – Birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policy, etc.

Pet supplies – food, water, medicine, leash and kennel or crate