If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family. Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supplies for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last that long. You may not need to go out and buy foods to prepare an emergency food supply. You can use the canned goods, dry mixes, and other staples on your cupboard shelves.
Having an ample supply of clean water is a top priority in an emergency. A normally active person needs to drink at least 2 quarts (a half gallon) of water each day. You will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Store at least an additional half-gallon per person, per day for this. Store at least a 3-day supply and consider storing a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. If you are unable to store this much, store as much as you can. You can reduce the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool. And don’t forget to take your pets and service animals into account!
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that could be needed in the event of a disaster.
Assemble the following items to create kits for use at home, the office, at school and/or in a vehicle:
- Water—one gallon per person, per day (3day supply for evacuation, 2week supply for home)
- Food—nonperishable, easytoprepare items (3day supply for evacuation, 2week supply for home)
- Batterypowered or handcrank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7day supply) and medical items
- Multipurpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
Make a Plan
Cobb & Douglas Public Health recommend you create an emergency plan for any type of emergency.
- Discuss with your coworkers and family how to respond to a disaster should it occur.
- Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.
- Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches.
- Post emergency numbers near telephones.
- Teach children how and when to call 911.
- Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated by disaster (it is often easier to call out-of-state than within the affected area).
- Establish meeting places.
Keep in mind, your family may not be together when a disaster occurs so it’s important to plan the following in advance how you will:
- Get to a safe place
- Contact each other
- Get back together
- What you will do in various situations
Our local community has been impacted by several types of hazards over the years. Americans also travel more than ever before; to areas impacted by hazards they may not be at risk of near their homes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple hazards. For example, safety is necessary when experiencing all hazards, whether this means sheltering or evacuating depends on the specific emergency. Developing a family communications plan or making an emergency supply kit are the same for accidental emergencies, natural disasters and also terrorism. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.
Before a disaster, learn how you will know there is an impending hazardous event. Familiarize yourself with the signs of events that come without warning and know the local advance alerts and warnings and how you will receive them. Knowing about the local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation and local emergency contacts will help you develop your household plan and will also aid you during a crisis.
Learning what to do in different situations and developing and customizing your plans for your local hazards, the locations frequented by members of your household and the specific needs of household members including animals will help you reduce the impact of disasters and may save lives and prevent injuries.
During a disaster, stay informed by watching local news and monitoring this website for information that impacts your local community.
Kids can “Be Heroes” Too
FEMA’s Ready Kids campaign and the Ad Council partnered with Disney to create a bilingual multimedia PSA campaign using characters from the Big Hero 6 film. Learn how to prepare for emergencies by visiting ready.gov/kids.