Prepare before an emergency
This is an example of the information available to help you be prepared. Checklists and information are available on our Resources page.
Think of the potential disaster scenarios and mentally respond to them. Are you prepared? At a minimum, plan for three scenarios.
1. Be prepared to be off the grid
Cell phone towers and phone systems were offline for days during the 2017 October fires. No phone, no internet, no cable TV.
- Pre-plan a designated family meet up location and specific time of day to meet in case your family is separated.
- Create an out of area/state contact person for all family members to contact in case you are separated and unable to communicate locally.
- Create a buddy system to check on friends and neighbors to ensure everyone is safe.
- Use your cell phone text system. Messages often go through with low cell signal
2. Develop an emergency plan and review it periodically with family/household members
Know how to turn off utilities and open garage doors-consider a battery backup.
Develop a household evacuation plan:
- What to take?
- What to do before leaving if there is time?
- Where to go?
- Where to meet?
- Who will take or prepare what?
3. Create a go-bag/emergency kit
What to pre-pack:
- Essentials: cash, space blanket, first aid kit, duct tape, aspirin, water bottles, gloves, hat, food bars, matches, fire starter, flashlight, face masks, water filters, siphon for water/gas. electrical outlet adaptor for vehicle, knife, rain poncho, crank radio, whistle, compass, can opener, extra batteries, personal hygiene items
- Information: passport, credit card, etc
- Medical: medications and medical information
- Add your own must-haves
Emergency kits should be three tiered for car, work, and house.
4. Create a stay-in-place emergency stash and plan
Store supplies in a safe place in case you need to shelter in place. Include enough food and water for up to 2 weeks along with camping and cooking gear in case you have to stay outside. Include a battery operated radio and flashlights.
5. Create an in-case-of-emergency list
Include emergency contacts, credit card and other financial information, medical cards, house/renter’s insurance info, passports, medication list
Advance planning can include making copies of credit cards, drivers licenses, important papers, wills, etc and send to trusted person outside your region for long-term safe keeping. You can also send to yourself via email or store in the cloud or use an off site bank safe deposit boxes.
Small gun safes or document fire safes can be used to store important papers and items, they are small enough to grab and take with you. Be sure to check the fire rating of any safe you use.
6. Digitize your irreplaceable photos
Store on a flash drive in your go bag or safe deposit box. You can also store on the cloud.
7. Take a digital photo inventory of your house and belongings
Store in the cloud and/or a flash drive. Put in a safe place off site.
8. Consider burying money in a waterproof container
Many people lost everything and had limited access to cash.