Emergency Basics

The two things you need in the case of any type of natural disaster are an Emergency Kit and a Family Communication Plan. Your Emergency Kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Your kit should be ready long before any emergency. If you have to evacuate at a moment’s notice, there won’t be time to search for the supplies you need or go shopping for them.

Since you may be required to survive on your own, make sure you have sufficient food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Help may take hours or days. While local officials and relief will be on the scene, they rarely reach everyone immediately. Basic services, such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off, so your kit should contain items to help you manage during this type of outage.

Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for three days (both drinking and sanitation)
  • Food, three-day supply, non-perishable
  • Battery or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask, plastic sheeting, and duct tape to shelter in place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties (personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local paper maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger

Other useful links:

Download & Print the FEMA Emergency Supply List 

Family communication plan:

    • Your family may not be together, so plan how you will contact one another
    • Create a contact card for all family members and keep them in a wallet, purse, backpack, briefcase, etc.
    • Check emergency plans with your children’s daycare or school
    • Identify someone in an unaffected area your family can notify when they are safe
    • If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will
      often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know
    • Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through

    Other useful links:

    Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or emails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management website.

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