Emergency Preparedness Guide - For Homes

This guide contains some basic information about disasters and tips on emergency preparedness. It will help you and your family make an emergency plan, put together an emergency kit, and learn what to do before, during and after a disaster. The guide is also available in PDF for printing (top of this page).

General Rules of Thumb

If an emergency or disaster happens, there are a few things you should do right away:

  1. Stay calm. Try not to panic, take time to understand what has happened, and think about what you can do to stay safe or avoid worse injury.

  2. Check the scene. Pay attention to your surroundings to see whether you are safe where you are, and whether anyone around you needs help. If you think you are in danger, get to a safer place as soon as you can.

  3. Give and get help. If you or others are hurt or still in danger, call 911. Explain what has happened, where you are, what injuries people have, and whether the danger still exists.

  4. Listen for official emergency announcements. Local radio and television stations will give emergency updates and instructions. This is your best source of information.

  5. Get prepared to evacuate if told to by local authorities. If told to leave your home or work, do so right away, follow exact evacuation routes, and go to the specified shelter or safe area. If you can, bring your emergency kit with you, and get in touch with your family's designated emergency contact person as soon as you can to let them know how and where you are.

updated Feb 18, 2016