Planning & Kit Building

Make a Plan

Your family might not be together when an emergency strikes so it is important to plan ahead for how you will deal with the emergency. Some of the steps to discuss with your family include getting to a safe place, contacting one another, and getting back together.
  • Complete the Family Emergency Plan. This form will help you answer the basic questions of how to be prepared.
  • Complete a contact card for each family member and have them keep these cards handy in a wallet, purse, briefcase, or backpack.
  • Check with your child’s school and/or day care facility to find out what their emergency plan is. Where would kids go? Who could they be released to? Is the school prepared to keep students onsite for a set number of hours in an emergency?
  • Consider identifying a friend or relative, who lives out of state, for each family member to contact during an emergency. This person could notify those who call them that the others are safe. Oftentimes in an emergency it is easier to make a long-distance phone call than across town. This person also may not be affected by the emergency.
  • Subscribe to an alert service that will notify you via text, email, or voicemail of emergencies. 
  • Plan your route. If you need to evacuate, where will you go and how will you get there? Plan driving routes and alternate routes.
  • Make a plan for your pets. A lot of evacuation shelters will not accept pets, so determine ahead of time where you can go and where your pets can go.

Build a Kit

Building a kit is easy and doesn’t have to be expensive. They key is to personalize your kit based on your needs. Below are some guidelines for creating your kit:
  • Water: One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for all family members. This could include canned goods such as canned meats and beans, canned fruits and vegetables, or dry foods such as crackers
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to “shelter-in-place” if needed
  • Moist wipes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities in an emergency situation
  • A manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger

* Additionally, if you have small children, family members with special medical needs, or pets, you will need to be sure to account for their particular needs. This may include baby formula and diapers, medications, and pet food or other supplies.

It might also be wise to have several emergency supply kits in places where you and your family spend a lot of time, for example at home, at work, and in your car.