Emergency preparedness is no longer the sole concern of earthquake prone Californians and those who live in the part of the country known as "Tornado Alley." For Americans, preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Emergencies can range from inconvenient to devastating. However, there are some simple preparedness steps individuals can take in advance to minimize there impact on individuals and their families. Family and community preparedness planning can enhance community readiness and reduce the impact of disaster by expediting recovery in the aftermath of unpreventable catastrophes.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Ready campaign focuses on the following important preparedness steps that can assist families with creating emergency plans and preparing for a wide range of natural and manmade disasters that could impact them and their communities:
Get an Emergency Supply Kit
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. Ready.gov provides a list of recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit.
Make a Family Emergency Plan
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Sample family emergency plans can be downloaded from Ready.gov.
Be Informed about the different types of emergencies and their appropriate responses
There are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them.
In addition, learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government.
Get Involved in your community’s efforts
We encourage organizations, families, and individuals to take time out to explore the many ways we can all contribute to creating more prepared and resilient communities.