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Prepare Yourself and Your Family

If You See Something, Say Something

Download the free mobile app on the App Store or Google Play to report suspicious activity, request emergency or roadside help, and monitor traffic conditions.

Build a Kit

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.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

Emergency Supply List

Make a Family Communications Plan

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. Read more about Family Communication during an emergency.

Family Communication Plan for Parents
Family Communication Plan for Kids

For more information visit http://www.ready.gov/

Planning and Preparing for Disasters: Seniors

The likelihood that you and your family will recover from an emergency tomorrow often depends on the planning and preparation done today. While each person’s abilities and needs are unique, every individual can take steps to prepare for all kinds of emergencies. By evaluating your own personal needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.

There are commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.

  • Create a support network of family, friends, and neighbors. Make sure everyone knows your emergency plan including where you will go in case of a disaster.
  • Make sure someone in your support network has a key to your home, and has the ability to administer any medications you are taking in the case of a disaster.

For more information visit www.ready.gov/seniors.

Planning and Preparing for Disasters: Infants and Young Children

Remember the unique needs of your family members when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.

For An emergency supply kit for infants you should consider formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications, moist towelettes, and diaper rash ointment.

Try to make emergency planning fun for young children. Gather your family members together for a quick family meeting, maybe over a pizza or before watching your favorite movie. Talk about the questions on the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids (PDF - 1.2 Mb) and make a list of your family's solutions. Find more planning information at www.ready.gov/kids.

Planning and Preparing for Disasters: Individuals with Disabilities or Access & Functional Needs

If you have a disability or an access and functional need, you may need to take additional steps to prepare for emergencies.

  • Create a support network of friends, family, and neighbors who know your emergency plans, access and functional needs, and any medication needs.
  • Make backup plans to receive medical treatment and/or in-home care.
  • Plan for possible evacuations, accessible transportation, and power outages.

For more information visit http://www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs.

Planning and Preparing for Disasters: Campus Ready

In times of disasters, colleges and universities serve as key emergency management partners to federal, state, local, tribal, territory and private sector organizations. Natural, technological, and health hazards can all affect daily campus operations. Institutions are encouraged to regularly review, update and exercise their emergency plans.

For more information visit http://www.ready.gov/campus.

Planning and Preparing for Disasters: Pets

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what's best for you is typically what's best for your animals.

Plan for pet needs during a disaster by:

  • Identifying shelter
  • Packing a pet survival kit (food, water, medications, litter, first aid kits, and other supplies)

Protect Your Pet During a Disaster:

  • Bring your pets inside immediately
  • Separate dogs and cats (anxiety may cause irrational behavior)

The American Red Cross has a Pet First Aid App. Download it today on the App Store or Google Play to keep your pet safe during an emergency.

For more information visit http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals.

Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear power plants use the heat generated from nuclear fission in a contained environment to convert water to steam, which powers generators to produce electricity. Nuclear power plants operate in most states in the country and produce about 20 percent of the nation’s power. Nearly 3 million Americans live within 10 miles of an operating nuclear power plant.

Although the construction and operation of these facilities are closely monitored and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), accidents are possible. An accident could result in dangerous levels of radiation that could affect the health and safety of the public living near the nuclear power plant.

Before a Nuclear Power Plant Emergency :

  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit
  • Make a family Emergency Plan
  • Know the terms below

Notification of Unusual Event - A small problem has occurred at the plant. No radiation leak is expected. No action on your part will be necessary.

Alert - A small problem has occurred, and small amounts of radiation could leak inside the plant. This will not affect you and no action is required.

Site Area Emergency - Area sirens may be sounded. Listen to your radio or television for safety information.

General Emergency - Radiation could leak outside the plant and off the plant site. The sirens will sound. Tune to your local radio or television station for reports. Be prepared to follow instructions promptly.

During a Nuclear Power Plan Emergency:

  • Increase distance between you and the source of radiation
  • Keep car windows and vents closed
  • Shield yourself by placing heavy dense material between you and the radiation source (basement)

For more information visit http://www.ready.gov/nuclear-power-plants.

More Information