• Introduce yourself to a
neighbor that you haven’t met, and exchange home and work phone
numbers. Your neighbors will be first on-scene when disaster strikes.
Disaster response goes best when neighbors already know each other, or
are at least on a first-name basis.
Purchase and store bottled water – one gallon per person/per day
for at least three days. If you have pets, remember that they need
water, too. Watch our
water tips public service announcement.
Buy extra canned goods and a manual can opener on your next
visit to the store.
• Keep a running list of
disaster supplies in your purse or glove box, and purchase an item or
two each time you go to the store. Be sure to purchase foods that you
normally eat, so you can keep the supplies fresh. Rotate through them
at least once each year.
• If you lose power for
an extended period of time, make sure you follow
food safety guidelines. Take five minutes to print these
guidelines and then attach them to your refrigerator or keep a copy in
your emergency supplies kit.
• Don’t store household
chemicals beyond their expiration date or after they're no longer need
• Discuss how your family
light and heat your home safely if you
Become familiar with all utilities before a disaster strikes.
Test your smoke alarms and
practice your fire escape plan.
• Make sure all adults in
your home know
how to use a fire extinguisher.
• The most common
injuries after an earthquake are cuts to hands and feet, so do your
best to protect them. Place a pair of shoes, socks, work gloves, a
whistle, and a light stick or flashlight with batteries under your
bed. You want to be able to reach them after the earthquake shaking
stops. You’ll have ready access to protection for your feet and hands,
a signaling device, and a light source – all in an easily-accessible
• Identify your utility
shut-off valves, and place a shut-off tool by the door nearest to
them. You won’t have to search for the shut-off tool when you need it
most. Teach the adults and older children in your house when and how
to use them.
Natural gas customers click here for directions.
• Pets are not allowed in
Create a plan for your pets in case you need to evacuate your
• Work with your doctor
to make sure you and your family members have at least a one-week
supply of necessary medications. Don't forget to include special plans
if someone is reliant on
home oxygen, powered medical equipment, or durable medical supplies.
• Replace outdated
medications in the emergency kit.
• Install a child-proof
lock on a cupboard or drawer, each day. During an earthquake, contents
will be shaken up but won’t pose a danger by falling out.
• Fill out a medical
information card (history, meds, contact info) that can be used in any
medical emergency but should also go into an emergency kit.
Medical Emergency Card
Medical Emergency Response Card
• Conduct a digital home
inventory. Set your timer for five minutes, and concentrate on only
one room. Take digital photos of everything in the room, making sure
you capture enough detail to prove make/model/ vintage/price range.
Download your photos to a special file on your computer. Continue each
day and soon you will be done.
• Take five minutes to
make several copies of your digital inventory photos on DVDs. Store
one in a safe place at your home and one in your go-kit that you take
if you have to evacuate, put one in your safe deposit box, and send
one to a friend or relative that lives at least one state away.
• Ask your homeowner’s
insurance agent about flood and earthquake insurance. Both may require
special riders on your policy, and may not be included unless you
specifically add them. Do it now, before disaster strikes!
• Write down your
insurance policy numbers and you agent’s phone number, and put them in
your wallet. You don’t want to have to search for them when you need
• Ensure your "financial
having your important financial, personal, and property documents
available after an emergency. Make copies of these documents (or
scan to a CD-ROM or jump drive) and send to a trusted counsel, friend,
or family member.
• Teach your kids how to
avoid catching or spreading contagious diseases. Model the behaviors:
hands, sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, and stay home when
• Find the dispenser at
your favorite grocery store for the disinfectant wipes, and use them
sanitize the handle on your grocery cart. There is usually a
dispenser at the store entry, near where the carts are stored. This is
especially important if you put your child in the seat!