Emergency Basics

Emergency BasicsThe 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, 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 day care or school.
  • Identify a non-local friend or relative household members can notify when they are safe, they may be in a better position to communicate between separated families.
  • 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 e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.

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