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Be Prepared

Prepare in a Year Guide

Being prepared for disasters may seem daunting or intimidating, but it’s actually simple and easy!

This Prepare in a Year book will help walk you through 12 important steps for disaster preparedness.

It’s as simple as completing one activity a month. By the end of 12 months, you’ll be much better prepared!

Remember that everything you do to be prepared will help you in small emergencies, like a flat tire on your car, as well as large disasters.

Build an Emergency Supply Kit

You should have the basic items that you would need in the event of an emergency staged at your home in a kit. Have enough in your kit to sustain your for 2-3 weeks. Remember to consider your specific needs as you build your kit - medications (non-prescription and prescription), glasses and/or contact lenses, infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, pet food, feminine supplies, books, games and puzzles for children. Plan ahead for your pets and your family as needed. Here are a few of the basic items that every kit should contain.



Have one gallon per person

per day for drinking and sanitation


Have at least a 2-3 week supply of

nonperishable food for you, your family and pets

Battery Powered or Hand Crank Radio

NOAA Weather Radio with Tone Alert

Cell Phones with Extra Batteries

First Aid Kit
Extra Batteries
Whistle to Signal for Help
Dust Masks, Plastic Sheeting, Duct Tape
Moist Towelettes, Garbage Bags, Plastic Ties

Manual Can Opener


Hammers, Pliers, Wrenches, Nails,

Screwdriver, Safety Glasses, Power Tools, Etc.

Local Maps

Cash, Copies of Your Insurance Documents,

Identification, Bank Records

Sleeping Bags, Changes of Clothing, Sturdy Shoes Fire Extinguisher, Matches in a Waterproof Container,
Personal Hygiene Items Paper and Pencil Paper Plates, Cups, Paper Towels and Plastic Cutlery


Make sure to keep your kit updated and maintained so that it is ready when needed.


Build a Go-Bag

Every individual should also have a go-bag. Your go-bag should go with you everytime you leave the house. If disaster strikes and you are at work or away from your emergency supply kit, your go-bag should be substaintial enough to get you by for 2-3 days. Remember to meet your specfic needs in your go-bag and you should have go-bags for every member of your family.


Protein Snacks
Personal Hygiene Items
Glasses or Contacts
Small First Aid Kit
Paper and Pencil


Make an Emergency Plan

In the event of an emergency, help may not be available for days or weeks. Make a plan for yourself and your family. Use these online resources to help prepare your plans. Gather contact information. Know where to go and where to meet.


Make a plan today


Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. 

Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated.

Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.


Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

  2. What is my shelter plan?

  3. What is my evacuation route?

  4. What is my family/household communication plan?


Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

Different ages of members within your household

Responsibilities for assisting others

Locations frequented

Dietary needs

Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment

Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

Languages spoken

Cultural and religious considerations

Pets or service animals

Households with school-aged children


Step 3: Practice your plan with your family/household