Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.

By Admin3

September is National Preparedness Month.

As the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma remind us, a disaster can strike any time, anywhere — so it is essential to be prepared before it’s too late.

Take steps this month to make sure that you and your family are prepared. While it might seem daunting at first, the practical guides and resources below make planning ahead more manageable.

1. Build a Kit

Start here: Use this checklist to start building a kit that will meet your family’s needs. (Printable version available.)

FEMA recommends having enough supplies for 3 days (per family member) ready to go in case of an emergency.

  • Include items like bottled water, nonperishable food, clothing, batteries, phone chargers, hygiene products, a first aid kit, cash (in case banks are closed or ATMs are not working), and important family documents.
  • Remember to include items for more specific needs, such as baby food, diapers, pet food, prescription medications (enough for 3 days), glasses and/or contacts, and dentures.
  • Have a “go bag” ready, and store items in a cool, dry space.
  • Record all important medical information in a File of Life, available from the Livingston Health Department.

2. Make a Plan

Start here: Use this guide to make an emergency plan. Start by discussing with your family the four questions listed.  (Printable parents’, kids’, and wallet-sized versions available.)

  • Consider any specific needs in your household. Information for Specific Groups (CDC)
  • Be sure to include your pet in your plan!
  • Know how you will receive emergency alerts and have a shelter plan, an evacuation route, and a communication plan.

Having a clear plan in advance can save valuable time in an emergency situation.

Swift-911 (1)

3. Be Informed

Know what to do in different disaster situations, how to get emergency alerts, and where to go if you need to evacuate.

Start here: Sign up for emergency alerts through the Swift911 system. If you’ve signed up in the past, make sure that your contact information is up to date.

Know your alerts and warnings. For disaster updates, download the FEMA App.

4. Be Prepared All Year Long

Do1Thing is a resource that provides one manageable task per month to help you prepare for an emergency or disaster. Sign up for the monthly newsletter, or follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Maintain your kit: Replace expired items as needed. Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.

The time to prepare is not after a disaster strikes.


More Preparedness Resources: 

Livingston’s Office of Emergency Management


Listo.gov (Spanish-language site)

America’s PrepareAthon! A grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience

To Help Hurricane Survivors: 

Donation Guidelines