Guide to Preparedness Now - Develop a Plan for Survival


Feeling overwhelmed?  Well that is normal.  The amount of info to assimilate can be daunting - plans for food, water, shelter, safety, just to mention a few.   Keep in mind that although prepping may mean different things to different people, the basic list of emergency food,  water and supplies is about the same.   Taking it "one step and at time" makes the process of preparedness manageable. 

The goal of prepping is to be able to survive on our own without the help of others if and when an emergency/disaster strikes.   Emergencies/disasters can affect people in any part of the United States at any time of the year.  Even small events, such as a power outage, can quickly have disastrous effects for a family that is not prepared.

Make a plan & a contingency plan BEFORE disaster strikes.  

Emergencies/Disasters can happen with little or no warning.  You may need to leave your home, your neighborhood or even your community. Every person & family needs to know what to do if water, gas, electricity or phone were cut off.  You need a plan.  Help may or may not be available.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched to help you prepare for any emergency/disaster that may arise. 

Some preparedness tips provided include:

  • Know the hazards that occur in the area.
  • Learn the evacuation routes and shelter locations -- Start by contacting your local emergency management office.  Do an online search using the key word " YOUR CITY + emergency management office" or  contact your local American Red Cross chapter
  • Have an emergency or disaster kit ready.
  • Know how to reconnect with people following an emergency -- The plans should include meeting places in case the family members are separated.  Complete a contact card and give one to each family member and instruct them to keep the card in a wallet, purse, or backpack.     The Contact Card is provided by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).  Fill it out and give a copy to each family member.
  • Learn emergency skills including how to use a fire extinguisher and first aid.


Below is a partial list of Emergency/Disaster Response Resources:



The following are general guidelines of steps to take.  Remember evacuations should be done quickly.   Make a prioritized list NOW of the items you need to bring with you.

Should your have to evacuate:

  • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. (This means no flip-flops!)
  • Turn off mains - gas, electricity, & water; close all interior doors.
  • Turn off all appliances and electronics.
  • Extinguish all candles.
  • Leave a note (on the wall in permanent marker near the exit door) telling others where you have gone and who is with you.
  • Close & lock all windows & exterior doors.
  • Go to your appointed emergency evacuation center and check in with the person in charge.

Simple Steps to being Prepared:

  • Teach children how and when to call 911 for help
  • Stock up on Food & Water
  • Grow your own food
  • Keep a spare tire in case one becomes flat
  • Have pre-planned places of shelter
  • Have a evacuation plan for emergencies
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by home phones or save them in your cell phone (fire, police, ambulance, etc.)
  • Keep first-aide supplied on hand & learn how to administer first aide
  • Store flashlights, batteries in each room
  • Make sure that you have current maps of your area
  • Equip your home & shelter with a fire extinguisher
  • Set cash (small bills) aside

Download and Print Material (templates designed to organize emergency contact phone numbers and identify an emergency meeting place)from Fema's website:

Additional Links regarding preparation for natural disasters


Guide to Preparedness Now

List of commonly used Prepper Acronyms & Terms

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