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 Are You Ready? - It Matters! - It's Important!

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. You should keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of you and your family for at least three days. Emergency Kits Available from National Safety Preps.

Family Emergency Plan

  • Identify an out-of town contact.  It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
  • Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you’ve listed them as emergency contacts.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging (also knows as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
  • Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have systems that will send instant text alerts or e-mails to let you know about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc. Sign up by visiting your local Office of Emergency Management web site.

Planning to Stay or Go

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you mare learning here, to determine if there is an immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for information or official instruction as it becomes available. For information on staying put or sheltering in place, click here. For information on evacuating, click here.

Emergency Information

Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.

Emergency Plans

Use the New Online Family Emergency Planning Tool created by the Ready Campaign in conjunction with the Ad Council to prepare a printable Comprehensive Family Emergency Plan:


Use the New Quick Share application to help your family in assembling a quick reference list of contact information for your family, and a meeting place for emergency situations:


You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance. Read more: School and Workplace.

Get a Kit!
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, 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

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

 National Safety Preps

Potecting Home & Family

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for Adults & Children

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2009 Disasters

U.S Disasters…

  • Feb. 12, New York, U.S.: all 45 passengers and 4 crew members die when a Continental flight from Newark to Buffalo crashes
    five minutes outside Buffalo airport, damaging homes, and killing one person on the ground.
  • March 10, Alabama, U.S.: Michael Kenneth McClendon, 28, kills at least 10 people during a shooting spree in Geneva County,
    Alabama. Several of McClendon’s victims were members of his own family.
  • March 27, North Dakota and Minnesota, U.S.: Flooding of the Red River causes the evacuation of about 150 homes in the Fargo, North Dakota area. The neighboring town of Moorhead, MN is also evacuated and President Obama declares a state of emergency in Minnesota.
  • April 3, New York, U.S.: Jiverly Wong kills 13 people in an immigration center in Binghamton, NY before turning the gun on himself.
    Most of his victims were immigrants taking an English class.
  • June 22, Washington D.C.: nine people die and over 70 more are injured when a subway train crashes at rush hour.
  • August 8, New York: a helicopter and plane collided over the Hudson River, killing all nine people on the private plane.
  • September 29, Samoa and American Samoa: an underwater 8.0-magnitude earthquake causes a tsunami that kills more than 115 people.
  • October 26, Afghanistan: 14 Americans–11 American troops and three civilians–are killed in two separate helicopter crashes in
    Afghanistan. The causalities contribute to one of the deadliest days of the 8-year war.
  • November 6, 2009 Fort Hood: A mass shooting rocked one of the nation’s largest military posts on Thursday after a U.S. Army psychiatrist allegedly opened fire inside Fort Hood in Texas.Thirteen people were killed and 30 people were injured according to U.S. military officials. Most of the victims were U.S. military personnel.


  • Jan. 9, Costa Rica: at least 20 are killed and thousands more are left homeless after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes the verdant mountains of northern Costa Rica, setting off landslides.
  • Jan. 12, Indonesia: more than 200 people are missing and feared dead when a 250-passenger ferry sinks off the coast of the
    Indonesian island of Sulawesi during a storm. A fishing boat finds and rescues 18 passengers and the captain floating in life rafts.
  • Jan. 24, France and Spain: at least 15 people die and more than one million homes are left without power when winds of more than
    100 mph swept across France and Spain during the most severe storm to hit the region since 1999.
  • Jan. 26, Turkey: an avalanche slams into a group of 17 Turkish hikers on Mount Zigana, dragging them more than 1,640 ft and
    killing 10 of them.
  • Feb. 9, Australia: over 160 people die when arsonists start fires that result in about 400 wildfires—some of the worst
    wildfires in Australia’s history.
  • March 11, Germany: fifteen people are shot and killed at Albertville Technical High School in southwestern Germany by a
    17-year-old boy who graduated from the school a year earlier.
  • April 6, Italy: an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 strikes central Italy, killing more than 200 people and injuring another 1,000.
    The town of L’Aquila is the epicenter of the earthquake, but as many as 26 towns in the area are affected.
  • June 1, Brazil: in the worst aviation disaster since 2001, Air France Airbus A330 disappears somewhere off the northeast coast of
    Brazil with 228 passengers on board, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. No mayday signals were sent before crashing.
  • June 16, Indonesia: an explosion at a coal mine in the West Sumatra province kills six people and traps at least 24 more in the
    300-foot mine.
  • June 30, Italy: a freight train that was traveling from La Spezia to Pisa derails and crashes into a small Italian town, killing
    12 people and injuring at least 50 more. One of the train cars was filled with liquefied natural gas, which exploded during the crash.
  • June 30, Indian Ocean: a Yemenia Jet, on its way to Comoros, crashes into the Indian Ocean in an attempt to land. There are
    153 people on board, with only one survivor, a 14-year-old girl. Severe weather and turbulence are believed to be the cause of the crash.
  • July 6, China: rioting in Urumqi, China between two ethnic groups—Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese—and the police force
    kills at least 156 people. Riot police lock down the Uighur portion of the city to try and stop the protests.
  • July 15, Iran: a Caspian Airlines plane crashes en route from Tehran to Yerevan, Armenia, killing all 168 passengers on impact.
  • July 24, Iran: at least 16 people died when an Aria Air flight skidded off the runway and caught fire in Mashhad, Iran.
  • August 7, Philippines: at least 22 tourists on Mount Pinatubo were trapped and killed when heavy rain caused flooding and
  • August 10, Taiwan: Typhoon Morakot caused a mudslide that buried schools, homes, and at least 600 people in southern Taiwan.
  • September 2, Indonesia: about 60 people die when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hits the island of Java, which is the most populous area of the country.
  • September 9, Turkey: more than 30 people are killed when fast-moving floods caused by heavy rain sweep through Istanbul.
  • September 28, Philippines: almost 90 people die in and around Manila in flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana, which drops about 17 inches of rain in 12 hours. The floods are Manila’s worst in about 50 years.
  • September 30, Indonesia:
    a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hits the island of Sumatra, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and thousands trapped under the rubble of
    collapsed buildings in the city of Padang.
  • October 26, Afghanistan: 14 Americans–11 American troops and three civilians–are killed in two separate helicopter crashes in
    Afghanistan. The causalities contribute to one of the deadliest days of the 8-year war.
  • November 9, El Salvador: a small, low-pressure storm originating in the western part of the country brings an enormous
    amount of rainfall that causes flooding and mudslides. About 140 people are killed and some 1,500 homes are destroyed. The unnamed storm coincided with Hurricane Ida. Initial reports blamed the devastation on Ida, but officials later said Ida was not responsible.
  • November 27, Russia: 26 people are killed when a bomb explodes on a luxury train that runs from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
    Chechen rebels claim responsibility for the attack.
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