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Homeland Security

Prepare My Family for a Disaster

Prepare My Family for a Disaster

Because your family may not be together when a disaster strikes it is important to create a plan in advance. It is also essential to have a disaster supplies kit that includes basic items from your home that you may need in case of emergency. Your plan should include:

  • How you will get to a safe place
  • How you will contact each other
  • How you will get back together
  • What you will do in different situations

Start Here

Start preparing for an emergency or disaster before anything happens. You should find reliable information sources, warning systems and alert systems in advance. Family communication is very important.  Meet with family members and consider both people and pets. 

We recommend using our family emergency plan resource, which collects all vital information in one place in wallet-size cards you can carry with you.  It is also critical to check to determine school and workplace plans so you know how to best communicate and communicate with family members who may be in school or at work when an emergency hits.

You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.  A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items you may need in the event of an emergency. Assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency so you can survive on your own after an emergency.  

DHS/FEMA provides a guide to prepare your kit, which can be tailored to meet the needs of individual family health and related concerns.  One key: Food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.



Although local officials and relief workers will be around after a disaster, they cannot reach everyone immediately. Your help may arrive in hours or it might take days.

Electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

Last Published Date: March 4, 2016

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