North Central Health District

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS

Personal & Family Preparedness

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Personal & Family Preparedness

Preparedness is in Your Hands

If your community is affected by a disaster or other emergency situation, you and your family may not have access to food, water or electricity until recovery begins. It is important to prepare for emergencies beforehand with emergency food and water and other supplies for the entire family. You can get your preparations started with two important steps – creating a disaster kit for you home and having a family emergency plan.

Making Your Emergency Kit

All disaster kits should contain 72-hours worth of food and water for each family member. Include important documents (insurance, IDs), a first aid kit, prescription medications and other preparation items. Make sure to include a battery-operated radio in case the power goes out. A NOAA weather radio will alert you when there are severe weather watches or warnings. Don’t forget to check the back-up battery in your weather radio on a regular basis. You will want the radio to work even if there is a power outage. Remember to include any medical equipment, medication or other items for family members with functional or access needs. While creating a disaster kit, pet owners should remember to pack the necessary items for their pets. Download and print a checklist to keep track of your supplies.

Basic Checklist

Basic Supplies

  • Batteries
  • Blankets
  • Bottled water, 3-day supply – 1 gallon per person each day
  • Non-perishable food, 3-day supply
  • Manual can opener
  • Cash
  • Spare keys (car, house, etc.)
  • Cell phone with charger and adapters
  • Clothes (seasonal)
  • Battery or crank-powered radio
  • NOAA weather radio
  • Battery or crank-powered flashlight
  • Sunblock
  • First aid kit
    • Adhesive bandages
    • Elastic bandages
    • Gauze
    • Scissors
    • Digital thermometer
    • Tweezers
    • Alcohol wipes
    • Disposable gloves
    • Cotton balls
    • Bite/antibiotic ointment
    • Aspirin/ibuprofen
    • Cough syrup
    • Antihistamines
    • Decongestants
    • Antacids
    • Anti-diarrheals
  • Whistle
  • Face mask
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toiletries
    • Extra glasses or contact lenses and cleaning supplies
    • Denture supplies
    • Soap
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Tool kit
  • Duct tape
  • Local maps
  • Heavy gloves
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Garbage bags with ties
Infants & Children Checklist

Supplies for Infants and Children

  • Non-perishable baby food, 3-day supply
  • Breastfeeding supplies
  • Formula supplies
    • Powered formula
    • Water, 3-day supply
    • Camp stove for boiling/sanitizing water
    • Pot/kettle
  • Bottles
  • Changing supplies
    • Diapers
    • Diaper wipes
    • Baby powder
    • Diaper rash cream
    • Sealing bags
  • Pacifiers
  • Extra blankets and pillows
  • Toys and games
Special Needs Checklist

Special Needs

  • Non-perishable foods that meet dietary restriction needs
  • Medications – 1-week supply in original containers with prescription labeling
  • Batteries or charging cable and converter for hearing aid, wheelchair or other powered medical devices
  • Oxygen tank, regulator, tubing and mask/cannula
  • Catheters
  • Medication syringes
  • Dressing supplies
  • Incontinence pads
  • Vascular access device
  • Pacemaker equipment
  • Dialysis shunt
Pet Supplies Checklist

Pet Supplies

  • Photo with pet’s name
  • Food
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Collar with ID tag
  • Leash
  • Carrier
  • Waste supplies
Document Checklist

Document Copies

  • Driver’s license and other IDs
  • Social security card
  • Immunization records
  • Birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Health insurance card
  • Insurance policies
  • Wills, contracts and deeds
  • Credit cards
  • Bank account records
  • Important telephone numbers and addresses
  • Medication and medical equipment list
  • Pet/service animal vaccination, medical records and photo

Creating Your Emergency Plan

Every family should have a family emergency plan that is prepared and discussed in advance. Identify ahead of time where you could go if you have to leave your home. Choose several places, such as a friend’s home in another town, a motel or a shelter. Make sure you know how to contact members of your family and have an emergency contact number for someone out of state that knows where you are in the event of an emergency. Find out about emergency plans at your workplace and at your children’s schools. Make sure your pet is included in your emergency plan. Offer assistance to an elderly or disabled family member or neighbor that may be alone and may need your help during an emergency. Make plans ahead of time and practice them. Download and print your emergency plan and include it with your emergency kit.

Stay Informed

Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is an important part of preparation. Always remember the basics to responding to disasters. Safety should be the first consideration whether evacuating or sheltering. Emergency plans and basic supply kits should be relevant to all emergencies. Before a disaster, ensure you can receive information about pending emergencies before they impact you. Know your local emergency plans for sheltering and evacuation. During a disaster, watch or listen to local news to receive situational updates.

Learn about our related emergency preparedness services