Step 2 - Make A Plan

You can best cope by preparing for a disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is to assemble disaster supplies in multiple locations in a Go-Kit. After disaster strikes, you may not have time to shop or search for supplies. If you have gathered supplies in advance, you and your family can endure an evacuation or home confinement.

Guides for making plans can be found at or by contacting your local Emergency Management Agency (EMA). Prepare a plan that addresses a full range of emergencies. Plan ideas are listed below.

For medical emergencies (such as heart attack, fall, or birth):
• Call 911
• Have directions to the nearest hospital or emergency medical facility.
• Have medication lists for each person in the household
• Keep insurance information on hand.

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 fireproof safe and/or backed up electronically on a cloud, with emergency kits available including some cash and extra 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.