Sheltering and Evacuation

February 1, 2017

You need to think of this as the most important to-do list you will ever make.

Officials tell us that in the event of a disaster, we need to be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 3 to 5 days, but consider being prepared for up to two weeks. Remember it will be easy to do these things now but almost impossible once a disaster strikes.

Put a kit together
This kit will allow you to be sheltered at home for at least 3 to 5 days, but consider being prepared up to two weeks. The contents for a simple kit can be found in the right-hand column of this page.

Put a Go-kit together
Same idea, only smaller and portable in case you have to leave your house in a hurry.

Buy a battery-powered radio and extra batteries
If power goes out, so does your TV, radio and computer – AND any connection to the outside world.

Have a plan and hold a family meeting
Formulate your plans: one for staying in your house, the other if you need to leave it.  Talk about the responsibilities each family member will have and make certain that everyone knows what to do.

Pick a meeting place
Discuss how you will communicate and coordinate when you and your family members are separated during an emergency, e.g. you are at work while the kids are at school, spouse is running errands, kids are at a friend’s house, etc. Determine a location, in addition to your home, where family members can meet.

Arrange for an out-of-town connection
Sometimes local telephone communications are knocked out before long-distance lines are. Pick an out-of-town relative or friend to be the contact person for everyone.

Print a family emergency communications card for all family members
Make sure everyone in your family carries one with them at all times.

Know how to shut off water, gas, electricity and any other utilities in your home
Be certain to know how to shut off all utilities if directed to do so by the utility company. If you have to turn everything off, make sure you know how to do so. REMEMBER to have natural gas turned back on only by a professional.

We encourage you to find out more about how to be responsible and ready. For details on what you can do, go to