Emergency Planning and Emergency Supply Kit

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Whether or not you decide that you need a shelter in your house, you can take two important steps to protect yourself and your family during a hurricane or tornado: prepare an emergency plan and put an emergency supply kit together. If you decide to build a shelter, your emergency plan should include notifying local emergency managers and family members or others outside the immediate area that you have a shelter. This will allow emergency personnel to quickly free you if the exit from your shelter becomes blocked by debris. You should also prepare an emergency supply kit and either keep it in your shelter or be ready to bring it with you if you need to evacuate your house.

Some of the items that the emergency supply kit should include are:

  • An adequate supply of water for each person in your household
  • Non-perishable foods that do not have to be prepared or cooked (if these include canned goods, remember to bring a can opener)
  • A first-aid kit, including necessary prescription medicines

Tools and supplies:

°°flashlight (do not bring candles or anything that lights with a flame)
°°battery-operated radio
°°cellular phone or CB radio
°°extra batteries
°°wrench (to turn off household gas and water)
°°clothing and bedding

Special items:

°°for baby— formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk
°°for adults— contact lenses and supplies, extra glasses

You can get more information about emergency planning from American Red Cross (ARC) and FEMA publications, which you can obtain free of charge by calling FEMA at 1-800-480-2520, or by writing to FEMA, P.O. Box 2012, Jessup, MD 20794-2012. These publications include the following:
Emergency Preparedness Checklist, FEMA L-154 (ARC 4471)
Food and Water in an Emergency, FEMA L-164 (ARC 5055)
Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit, FEMA L-189 (ARC 4463)
Preparing for Emergencies, A Checklist for People with Mobility Problems, FEMA L-154 (ARC 4497)
These publications are also available on the World Wide Web at the FEMA web site – – and at the American Red Cross web site –