Prepare for an Emergency

The Basics
Public health emergencies can happen at any time, so make sure you and your family are ready.

Take Action!
Make a family emergency plan.

Start Today: Small Steps

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The Basics

Planning ahead can help keep you and your family safe and healthy if there’s an emergency, like a natural or man-made disaster. Here are some examples of emergencies:

Emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s important to make sure you and your family are ready. Here’s what you can do:


Take Action!

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Don’t wait – take the following safety steps with your family today.

Make an emergency supply kit.
Gather supplies like water, medicines, and blankets. You won’t have time to search or shop for these supplies during an emergency, so put your kit together now. Make sure your kit includes:

Keep your emergency supplies together in a backpack, bag, or easy-to-carry container. Use a waterproof container if possible. Store your supplies in a place that’s easy to reach.

For more help putting together your kit, print out this emergency supply kit checklist [PDF - 278 KB].

Make a plan.
It’s important to make a plan in case your family members aren’t in the same place when disaster strikes. Be sure to decide on an emergency contact – a person that each member of your family knows to call during an emergency.

Print this Family Emergency Communication Plan [PDF - 1 MB]. Sit down and fill the plan out together so that everyone in your family knows what to do. Ask everyone to keep a copy in their wallet, purse, or backpack.

Some people may need extra help in an emergency. Find out about resources for:

Find out about plans at school and work.
Places where you and your family spend the most time, like school and work, may have their own emergency plans.

Ask your employer and your child’s school for a copy of their emergency plan.

Know what to do during different types of emergencies.
Contact your state’s emergency management office to find out what types of disasters are most common in your area. Ask if your community has an emergency response plan.

Plan ahead for the types of actions you can take in different emergency situations. For example:

Always listen to local warnings to help you decide what to do. And make sure you have a plan for how to contact family and friends in an emergency situation.


Start Today: Small Steps

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