Most prevention and coping activities related to terrorism, mass violence, and natural disasters occur at the federal, state, and community levels. However, one step you can take is to put together an emergency plan and kit for your family or household that can serve for any type of emergency or disaster.
Emergency Supplies Your kit of emergency supplies should include everything you’ll need to make it on your own for at least 3 days. You’ll need nonperishable food, water, first-aid and sanitation supplies, a battery-powered radio, clothing, a flashlight, cash, keys, copies of important documents, and supplies for sleeping outdoors in any weather. Remember special-needs items for infants, seniors, and pets. Supplies for a basic emergency kit are listed in Figure A.2; add to your kit based on your family situation and the type of problems most likely to occur in your area.
You may want to create several kinds of emergency kits. The primary one would contain supplies for home use. Put together a smaller, lightweight version that you can take with you if you are forced to evacuate your residence. Smaller kits for your car and your workplace are also recommended.
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A Family or Household Plan You and your family or household members should have a plan about where to meet and how to communicate. Choose at least two potential meeting places one in your neighborhood and one or more in other areas. Your community may also have set locations for community shelters. Where you go may depend on the circumstances of the emergency situation. Use your common sense, and listen to the radio or television for instructions from emergency officials about whether to evacuate or stay in place. In addition, know all the transportation options in the vicinity of your home, school, and workplace; roadways and public transit may be affected, so a sturdy pair of walking shoes is a good item to keep in your emergency kit.
Everyone in the family or household should also have the same emergency contact person to call, preferably someone who lives outside the immediate area and won’t be affected by the same local disaster. Local phone service may be significantly disrupted, so long-distance calls may be more likely to go through. Everyone should carry the relevant phone numbers and addresses at all times.
It is also important to check into the emergency plans at any location where you or family members spend time, including
Map of the area for locating evacuation routes or shelters Cash, coins, and credit cards Copies of important documents stored in watertight container Emergency contact list and phone numbers Extra sets of house and car keys Flashlights or lightsticks Battery- or solar-powered radio Battery-powered alarm clock Extra batteries and bulbs Cell phone or prepaid phone card
Tube tent and rope Sleeping bags or warm blankets Foam pads, pillows, baby bed Complete change of warm clothing, footwear, outeiware (jacket or coat, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, hat, gloves, raingear, extra socks and underwear, sunglasses)