Emergency Preparedness

Make a Plan

After a major disaster, it is unlikely that emergency response services will be able to immediately respond to everyone’s needs, so it’s important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family. Plan to be on your own for at least the first 72 hours. Download the family emergency plan

Build a Kit

After a major disaster the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration, and telephones, may be unavailable. Experts recommend that you should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days. View the American Red Cross document 21 Weeks to Prepare. In the case of pets, please check out the basic evacuations kit checklists for small pets and horses

Have a Meeting

At least once a year, have a meeting with your family to discuss and upgrade your disaster plan and determine what training, equipment and supplies are needed. Occasional drills will assure quick reaction and avoid injury and panic in an emergency. 



Protective actions are actions we take to safeguard our family members and ourselves from harm. The most common emergency protective actions are evacuation and shelter-in-place. 

  • Evacuation means to leave the area of actual or potential hazard.  
  • Shelter-in-place means to stay indoors. This includes additional precautions such as turning off air-conditioning, ventilation systems and closing all windows and doors.  


  • Remain calm. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Have a Family Preparedness Plan. 
  • Stay informed. 
  • If an evacuation is ordered, follow the instructions of local officials regarding evacuation routes and the location of shelters.  
  • If shelter-in-place is recommended, local officials will provide instructions on necessary actions.  
  • Do not leave your sheltered location or return to the evacuated area until it is deemed safe to do so by local officials. 


Maintaining an emergency supply kit is a good idea for any emergency. Individuals and organizations should be prepared to be without assistance for a minimum of 72 hours.

  • Battery-powered radio, flashlights, batteries 
  • Whistle 
  • First aid kit and manual 
  • Hard hats 
  • Duct tape 
  • Fluorescent tape to rope off dangerous areas 
  • Water 
  • Food (canned, no-cook, packaged snacks) 
  • Manual can opener 
  • Cash and credit cards 
  • Change of clothing, rain gear, and sturdy shoes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags 
  • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C) type 
  • Infant and feminine hygiene supplies 
  • Essential medicines and eyeglasses 
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of doctors and pharmacist 
  • Food and water for pets 
  • Large plastic bags for trash, waste, water protection 
  • Toilet paper and paper towels 
  • Charcoal grill or camp stove for outdoor cooking