Preparedness Checklist

The next time disaster strikes, you may not have much time to act. Prepare now for a sudden emergency. Learn how to protect yourself and cope with disaster by planning ahead. 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. For additional information about how to prepare for hazards in your community, contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your American Red Cross chapter.

Pet Care

Learn helpful tips (PDF) in regards to taking care of your pets in the case of an emergency.

Family Protection Program

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Family Protection Program and the American Red Cross' Disaster Education Program are nationwide efforts to help citizens prepare for disasters of all types. For more information, please contact your local emergency management or civil defense office, and your local American Red Cross chapter. Start planning now. Request free family protection publications by writing to:
P.O. Box 70274
Washington, D.C. 20024.

Ask for: "Are You Ready?", "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit" and "Emergency Food and Water Supplies."

  1. Emergency Checklist
  2. Escape Plan
  3. Fire Safety
  • Call Your Emergency Management Office or American Red Cross Chapter
    • Ask about special assistance for elderly or disabled persons.
    • Ask how to prepare for each disaster.
    • Ask how you would be warned of an emergency.
    • Ask your workplace about emergency plans.
    • Find out which disasters could occur in your area.
    • Learn about emergency plans for your children's school or day care center.
    • Learn your community's evacuation routes.
  • Create an Emergency Plan
    • Discuss how to respond to each disaster that could occur.
    • Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.
    • Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.
    • Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
    • Keep family records in a water-and fire-proof container.
    • Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches.
    • Meet with household members. Discuss with children the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies.
    • Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated by disaster (it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area).
    • Pick two meeting places.
      • A place near your home in case of a fire.
      • A place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
    • Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.
    • Take a Basic First Aid and CPR Class
    • Teach children how and when to call 911, police, and fire.
    • Teach children how to make long distance telephone calls.
  • Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit
  • Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffle bag. Include:
    • A battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
    • Blankets or sleeping bags.
    • A change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes.
    • Credit cards and cash.
    • An extra pair of glasses.
    • An extra set of car keys.
    • A first aid kit and prescription medications.
    • A list of family physicians.
    • A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers.
    • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
    • A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
    • A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.