Emergency Preparedness

Be Informed:

  • See more at https://www.ready.gov/be-informed.
  • Learn what protective measures to take before, during and after an emergency.
  • Potential emergencies include:
    • Medical emergencies
    • Weather emergencies and Natural Disasters
    • Accidents and Hazards
  • Know options for protection in each kind of emergency.  
  • Check out your flood risk at FloodiQ, a free, web-based mapping tool that allows users to put in an address and learn more about their flood risk. FloodiQ currently offers this information for Gulf Coast and East Coast states and is in the process of adding Tennessee addresses now.

Make a Plan:

  • Guides for making plans and sample plans can be found at https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan or by contacting the local Emergency management Agency (EMA). Prepare a plan that addresses this full range of emergencies. For example:
    • Identify what to do for each emergency, including transportation, emergency contact information, and accommodations for children, seniors, and pets.
    • For medical emergencies, such as a heart attack, fall, or birth, call 911 and be prepared with:
      • Directions to the nearest hospital or emergency medical facility
      • Medication lists for each person in the household
      • Insurance information
    • For weather emergencies and natural disasters such as an earthquake, tornado, flood, fire, or gas leak:
      • For a fire or gas leak call 911 with all relevant information (name, address, description of emergency, etc.)
      • Identify transportation options including personal vehicles and public transportation
      • Know evacuation options for the emergency and remember that different emergencies may have different options (e.g.; fire emergencies will be evacuated on short notice where a flooding emergency may allow time to evacuate to higher ground).
        • Define the escape routes from the residence for each member in the household (and practice the escape)
        • Determine a meeting location or assembly point to assemble after exiting the residence
        • Identify evacuation routes away from the residence
      • Tune in to local radio for more information concerning hazardous weather events
      • Have important documents such as vehicle titles, medical data, insurance papers, wills, etc. in a fire proof safe and/or backed up electronically on a cloud
      • Have emergency kits available including some cash and schedule inventory checks
    • For community emergencies:
      • Follow the advice of local emergency officials
      • Listen to radio or television for news and instructions
      • For more information concerning being prepared for terrorist hazards refer to the American Red Cross Terrorism Safety Tips

Build an Emergency Kit:

  • The kit should include basic disaster supplies as follows:
    • Water (store at least one gallon of water per person per day for two-weeks)
    • Food (store at least a two-week supply of non-perishable food)
    • Medications (prescription or over the counter medicines as needed)
    • Flashlight and spare batteries
    • First aid kit (fully stocked)
    • Moist towelettes
    • Blanket(s)
    • Duct tape
    • Battery operated radio and spare batteries
    • Cell phone with charger (invertor or solar)
    • Manual can opener
    • Sharp knife or scissors
    • Tools such as wrenches or pliers
  • Remember to maintain the kit by checking or changing batteries as needed, checking expiration dates on water/food items and restocking the first aid kit as necessary.
  • Check out this video for more tips on making an emergency kit.

Discuss and Practice the Plan with your Family:

  • Make sure that family members understand the plan and their responsibilities
    • Discuss and know emergency alerts
    • Discuss where and practice how to shelter in place
    • Discuss, verify and practice escape routes from the residence
    • Ensure the assembly point is known by all family members
  • More information about preparing and responding to emergencies can be found here.

Get and Stay Involved:

  • Support community preparedness and participate in preparedness tests.
  • Identify local warning systems – such as tornado and severe thunderstorm sirens, local weather alerts, etc.
    • Public safety officials have developed prompt and dependable systems to warn the public of possible impending danger.
      • Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) includes Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) provides life-saving information quickly.
      • Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that allows the President communication with the American people within 10 minutes of a national emergency.
      • NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) allows the nearest National Weather office to broadcast continuous weather information to a network of nationwide radio stations.
  • Get and stay involved with community activities that deal with preparedness such as the local EMA, schools, businesses and social groups.
  • Make sure that places where people gather have preparedness awareness within the groups including plans and kits.
  • Help with awareness when possible and always be willing to volunteer during an emergency event.



Jennifer Tribble