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Emergency Preparedness
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Be Prepared . . .

Help may not always be readily available.

At home or at work, routines can be disrupted with little or no warning by natural disasters, fires or other catastrophic events.

Plan Ahead

It is important to identify and learn about the hazards most likely to occur in your community.  Making a plan and sharing this information (link to family communication) with your loved ones may prevent needless confusion, worry and injuries.

  • Learn about the most likely hazards, both natural and man-made, for your neighborhood, worksite and community.
  • Determine the safest course of action for you and your family for each hazard.  In some situations, it may be better to stay where you are, also called sheltering in place. This would be necessary during a tornado or hazardous chemical release, for example.  Sometimes, leaving an area to escape danger or evacuation is the safer course of action in situations such as a fire or hurricane.
  • Plan for your family’s comfort during disasters.  Severe weather, earthquakes, flooding and other emergencies may cause utility outages.  Prepare a kit that can meet your household’s basic needs (food, water, etc.) for 72 hours.  Don't forget a kit for your car.
  • Practice with your family what to do in an emergency.  Conduct regular drills.
  • Know how to keep in touch. Local telephone service may be interrupted, sometimes, it is easier to contact a family member in another state.  Each family member should know how to contact a local and out-of-state emergency contact to advise if they are safe.
image of female using cpr on adult male
CERT Community Emergency Response Team logo, a program of Federal Emergency Management Agency

Get Training

Become trained in first aid and CPR with AED.  Ideally, at least one person in each household and workplace should have these lifesaving skills.  Research shows 75 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home and 25 percent of hospital emergency room visits could be eliminated if someone knew first aid. Emergency care skills can mean the difference between life and death, temporary and permanent disability, and short- and long-term recovery.

Join your local Community Emergency Response Team. CERT educates you about disasters and hazards that may impact your community.  It provides training in basic disaster response, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and your community's emergency response plans. CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event.


The National Safety Council, as an Affiliate Program of Citizen Corps, offers resources to communities to prepare for natural and man-made emergencies.  Learn more about Safe Communities America.


Summer severe weather hazards come in many forms: high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of weather hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly.

Remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a severe weather threat is to use common sense.

Air Quality Problems Caused by Floods

Food Safety After a Flood

Portable Generator Safety Tips

Surviving the Hot Weather

Utilities and Structure Safety After a Flood

Vehicle Submersion

READY logo, an emergency preparedness program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency

September is National Preparedness Month, but each of us can take simple steps every day to be better prepared. 

The preparedness websites below provide great resources on how to prepare, plan and stay informed.

CDC Emergency Preparedness

Pandemic Flu Resources



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