Are You Ready?

Tornado, Flood, Earthquake, Fire… Pandemic. Are you ready if a natural or man-made disaster happens? It’s important to understand the importance of having an emergency plan and being able to use a prepared plan as a response to any type of disaster.

Make A Plan

Learn the risks in your area. Contact your local emergency management office or the nearest Red Cross chapter for information on potential disasters in your area. By learning these risks, you can prepare for the most likely disasters. Does your community have a public warning system? What about animal care after a disaster? If you care for the elderly or disabled, how can you help them? Involve your family and discuss why you need a plan, what your emergency plan will be and what it includes. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.


You are the first responder to your own family, as well as to yourself. Have a personalized kit ready to go that contains items you will need and food you will eat. If you or a family member has a medical condition, make sure your kit contains the medicine and healthcare essentials they may need. Most kits are for 72 hours but we have seen with past disasters, the need could be for a week or more. Kits can be assembled yourself using a bucket, backpack, or suite case.

What goes in your emergency kit?

  • Water: The first item you put in your kit is WATER. The rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation. Use containers that are light weight as possible as you will possibly need to transport your kit. Don’t forget your pets!
  • Food: Pack at least a 3 to 5 day supply of non-perishable items. Vacuum packed tuna, salmon, chicken, peanut butter, bags of nuts and dried fruits are all good choices. Get as much low-salt items as possible as your water supply is limited. If you have canned foods, make sure to pack a hand can opener. Also include paper towels, paper plates and cups, and plastic utensils.
  • Health Items: Prescription medications and glasses.
  • Family Documents: Insurance policies, identification and bank account records. These can be placed on a flash-drive or a damage resistant container.
  • Cell phone, hand cranked radio and charger and a weather radio. Disposable emergency chargers (pre-charged).
  • Flash light and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Steel whistle with lanyard to signal for help (plastic can break)
  • Dusk mask, duct tape and tarp/plastic sheeting for shelter.
  • Cloth face coverings, personal wipes, disinfecting and cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Hand held GPS system or local maps
  • Cash and coins. Bills should be in ones, fives, and tens as change will probably not be available for larger bills
  • Water proof matches and candles.
  • Change of clothing: Hard-sole shoes and clothes including something with long sleeves and a waterproof jacket.
  • Blanket (rescue blanket)
  • Small container of household bleach. 16 drops of bleach to one gallon of water will treat water. Use regular bleach with no fragrance added.
  • Utility knife, multipurpose tool and rope.
  • Paper & pencil and/or pen
  • Books, games, puzzles, ipods and other activities to help reduce stress.
  • Any additional items unique to your family and needs: Seniors, family members with disabilities, infant/toddlers

Retail Prepared Emergency Kits

There are several options for retail emergency kits if assembling one yourself is too daunting. Here are a few of our top picks for preassembled emergency kits:

Judy: “dedicated to making preparation a household essential”. They offer various ready-kits with top quality hand-picked essentials. From individual packs up to 4 person kits.

The Mover Max (4 people): The go-bag stocked and ready with everything you need on the fly. Contains tools for safety & warmth, first aid, and food & water.

Emergency Zone Store: Emergency Zone offers residential disaster kits as well as school and office emergency supplies as well as other survival gear.

Emergency Zone Family Prep 72 Hour Survival Go-Bag: (4 people): A multi-purpose 72-hour survival kit designed to prepare you and your family for any emergency event or disaster.

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). NPM is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved this September.

The 2020 NPM theme is: “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.

Useful tools for emergency preparedness and readiness:

FEMA mobile app