Personal preparedness includes being ready for emergencies at home, in your car, or anywhere else you may spend time. These preparedness efforts are a team effort. HSEM provides information and resources to help you better prepare for the possibility of an emergency or disaster.
Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. What you do now can help you and your family better respond to and recover from any disaster or emergency, as well as contribute to the overall readiness of your community. Although there are many things that people can do to increase their preparedness for emergencies, the three basic steps listed below are a good start that cover most situations.
The fourth step, Getting Involved, comes as a result of successfully completing the first three. Once you are confident that your and your family are ready for any emergency, helping others do the same, especially in your area, building or community, will also help build strength and resiliency and help a community recover and rebound quickly following any emergency.
Make a Kit
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. The following items are recommended for a basic emergency supply kit:
- One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- At least a three day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Watch this video about how to make a simple kit for yourself or your family!!
Make a plan
Before an emergency happens make a plan. Sit down as a family and decide where you will go and how you will communicate. A disaster may mean staying in your home or evacuating to an emergency shelter. Keep a copy of the disaster plan in your emergency supply kit. It is important to periodically review your plan. Did an elderly family member move in? Is someone disabled because of an injury? It could change your plan so be ready?
There are important differences between potential emergencies that can impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen in Minnesota.
To learn about your community's emergency plans and how you can help in the event of a disaster contact your city or county emergency manager. Ask about how to join or establish a Citizen Corps council in your community.