The best protection before a disaster happens is to get involved and be prepared in your community. During a serious disaster, all of the resources and services we take for granted may be shut down. How a community comes together to help one another during a crisis all depends on preparation! Do one thing to get ready today.

To help you prepare at home, it's helpful to imagine that you have no telephone service, no electricity, no gas, no water, and no sanitation service. Imagine that all businesses are closed and all services are shut down. What will you do? What will you need at home until help arrives?

  • 1 Your Plan
    • Households can – and do – cope with emergencies by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Create a family disaster plan that includes emergency communication, supply kit, and home evacuation. Being prepared is your best protection and your responsibility to your family.
  • 2 Your Vital Information
    • An out-of-state emergency contact person can help you in two important ways: storing your vital documents and helping you communicate with loved ones during emergencies.
  • 3 Your Special Needs
    • Emergencies can present additional challenges for seniors and people with disabilities or other special needs. Being prepared for any emergency can minimize these challenges. Designate a support system of caregivers, friends, and family and make a plan for them to check in and help you during an emergency. By planning ahead, you will feel more confident about protecting yourself following any emergency.
  • 4 Your Supply Kit
    • Your experience after an emergency can range from inconvenient to disastrous. Being prepared with the right supplies can make all the difference. You can add extras that match your family's needs.
  • 5 Your Kids
    • Include your children in planning for an emergency. Teach them how to get help and what to do in different situations. Practice your household disaster plan with your children and quiz them about preparedness information.
  • 6 Your Home
    • During an emergency, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. However, there are simple things you can do to make your home safer. Start by viewing each room with an "emergency eye" and look for hazards, particularly things that might fall from high places during an earthquake.
  • 7 Utilities
  • 8 Pets
    • For many people, pets are more than just animals and they are a part of the family. If you can, keep your pets close to you during an emergency.