Disaster Preparedness

Sponsored by ALA Carnegie-Whitney Grant (2010)

Is Your Family Prepared for the Next Disaster?

Disasters can strike at a moment's notice so being prepared before they occur is an important step in ensuring the safety of you and your family. 

  • Create a household disaster plan.
  • Prepare first aid kits for the home and for each vehicle.
  • Create an emergency supply kit or grab-and-go bag.
  • Keep important papers in a fire-resistant carrying case and bring it with you in case of an emergency.
  • Create a roadside emergency kit for each automobile (breaking down while evacuating could leave you and your family in worse shape than if you had simply done nothing).

Household Disaster Plan

  • As a family, decide on two places to meet in case an emergency occurs in or near your home (one should be near your home; the other, outside of the neighborhood).
  • Pick two out-of-town contacts (family, family friends) for the family to contact in case you become separated.
  • Prepare a checklist of important phone numbers, addresses, and contacts.
  • Develop a 'shelter in place" strategy in the event that evacuation is not an option.
  • Prepare an evacuation strategy for different types of disasters that may occur in your area. Practice each strategy with your family several times a year.
  • Train all able-bodied family members in the use of CPR, fire extinguishers, and common first-aid procedures.
  • Ensure your yard is prepared for a disaster by trimming branches, replacing gravel or rock landscaping with light-weight mulch, and checking for fire hazards.
  • Purchase a battery-operated radio or NOAA weather radio in case power is lost during a disaster.

Recommended Supplies for First Aid Kit

  • A first aid manual
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Cleansing agents such as isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, soap, antibiotic ointments
  • Several pairs of latex gloves
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Cotton Balls
  • Tweezers, needles, scissors
  • Moistened towelettes or baby wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermometer.

Recommended Emergency Kit Supplies

  • Prescription medications
  • Cash, traveler's checks, and loose change
  • A sleeping bag, blanket, and pillow for each family member. Keep additional blankets handy if you live in a cold-weather climate
  • At least one additional change of clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, durable shoes, and gloves
  • A bottle of chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper can be used to create a disinfectant, or even drinking water if no other options are available. For a disinfectant, combine nine parts water to one part bleach. To treat water, add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water. Avoid scented or color-safe bleaches.
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Waterproof matches and a lighter
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils, and paper towels
  • Paper, pens and pencils; books, magazines, videos, games, and puzzles
  • Batteries of various sizes and types
  • If you have pets, keep extra food and medicines on-hand. Also, have a travel crate ready for each pet in case you must evacuate your home.
  • A pocket knife, whistle
  • Dusk mask
  • Local maps.

Recommended Food for Emergency Supply Kit

  • Dried meats (a good source of protein)
  • Canned fish and meat
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grain crackers (can be used in place of bread)
  • Nuts, granola bars, and/or dry cereals
  • Juice boxes
  • Electrolyte drinks
  • Enough water to sustain each family member for 72 hours
  • A bottle of multivitamins
  • A manual can opener
  • An assortment of Ziploc bags, Tupperware, and a roll of tinfoil
  • A small camping stove or grill that can be used for cooking.

Grab-and-Go Box

Important papers that should be kept in a fireproof, waterproof container include:

  • Copies of all insurance policies, wills, deeds, tax returns, driver's licenses, credit cards, automobile titles, and bank records
  • Copies of utility bills which can be used to prove or establish residency
  • Family records such as Social Security cards, passports, as well as birth and marriage certificates
  • List of medical contacts, including family physicians, hospitals, and other medical service providers. It is also a good idea to keep a list of medical conditions, allergies, and drug prescriptions.
  • For pet owners, keep vaccination and veterinary records, along with up-to-date photos of your pet can assist in locating them if you are separated.
  • An inventory of valuable household goods can be helpful when filing insurance claims.
  • A list of phone numbers and addresses of relatives and friends.

Recommended Supplies for Roadside Emergency Kit

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares
  • Several quarts of oil
  • Antifreeze
  • Spare fuses
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • A small tool box
  • A can of tire inflator
  • Tire pressure gauge.

Disaster Preparedness Lists Compiled by
Edmand Pace, MLIS


Disaster Preparedness Brochure.pdf