Plan and Prepare for Any Disaster
- Assemble emergency kits. (See Basic Emergency Supplies.)
- Keep copies of important documents (passport, driver license, social security card, marriage license, will, deeds, financial statements, etc.) in an offsite location such as a safety deposit box.
- To facilitate insurance recovery, include an inventory of your valuables with serial number list of tools and equipment and photographs or video of other valuables.
- Use a USB jump drive to store these files. Make duplicate jump drives and keep one at home, and one in a safety deposit box or other off-site safe location.
- Learn how and when to shut off your utilities. (See Utilities.)
- Discuss all possible exit routes from each room, building and neighborhood. Ensure that your family has at least two exits from each.
- Reunification location: choose two places, one outside your home and another outside your neighborhood, like a church, community center, store parking lot, or other open area to meet at if you are separated.
- Conduct emergency drills and practice “DROP, COVER and HOLD” for earthquakes at least once every six months.
- Always keep your car’s gas tank at least 3/4 full.
- Take classes on first aid, CPR and disaster preparedness. (See Training & Volunteer Opportunities).
- Practice your plan once a year. Pick a weekend with nice weather to set up in your yard and use your disaster kit. This allows you to see how well it works and add to it before a real emergency.