Natural and man made disasters can strike at any time. It is important to have a planned response when you are at home, at work, on vacation or on the road.

Agencies like Red Cross,, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are all valuable resources for emergency preparedness. When you face a natural or man-made emergency, try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. In some cases, however, cable, electric and cell phone service will be disabled, making communication nearly impossible.  The following are general precautions that apply to many disaster situations:

  • Make sure to have a family communication plan in place; all members of the family should review and practice the plan
  • Have all family members’ and other important phone numbers written down or memorized
  • Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home
  • Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
  • Assign one family member the responsibility of learning first aid and CPR
  • Know how to shut off utilities


The National Safety Council offers safety tips specific to each of the following emergencies: