There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each.
Local Emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each.
Share the hazard-specific information with family members and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan.
Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disasters, both natural and man-made. You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations. 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 in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door-to-door.
Depending upon the nature of the emergency and your circumstances, one of the first important decisions is whether to stay where you are or evacuate. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Learn more about Evacuation & Sheltering In Place.
Learn more in the links on this site about specific hazard types, including natural disasters, technological and accidental hazards, and terrorist hazards.
As you prepare, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Most or all individuals have both specific personal needs as well as resources to assist others. You and your household and others you help or rely on for assistance should work together.
As part of tailoring your plans, consider working with others to create networks of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers who will assist each other in an emergency. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.
Factors to keep in mind
Households/individuals should consider and customize their plans for individual needs and responsibilities based on the methods of communication, types of shelter and methods of transportation available to them. Other factors to keep in mind include:
- different ages of members
- responsibilities for assisting others
- locations frequented
- dietary needs
- medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- cultural and religious considerations
- pets or service animals
In planning for emergencies, all of these individual differences make it important for every household and each individual to consider what they need in their plans and their supplies. A few examples of considerations for tailoring your plans and supplies include:
- Households with children should understand the school’s plans and where the children will stay safe if adults in the household need to shelter in other locations until the immediate hazard is over.
- Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing should make sure that they can receive emergency alerts and warnings in an accessible form.
- Individuals who require accessible transportation should work with their local para-transit and disability service providers to make an emergency plan.
- People who speak languages other than English may need to identify sources of alerts and warnings and information about community plans in other languages.
- People without vehicles should know local plans for public transportation and may need to make arrangements for transportation from local government, organizations or others.
- Households with infants should plan for food and supplies for infants and nursing mothers.
- People with dietary needs should have an adequate emergency food supply to meet their needs.
- People who take medications should maintain an adequate supply, and copies of their prescriptions.
- People with service animals should work with local emergency management to ensure that their service dog will be admitted to shelters with them during emergencies (as required by law) and should make sure their plan kit supplies include food and other items for their service animal.
- People who require power for medical or other assistive devices should consider how they will maintain the use of these devices if there is a loss of power. Keep extra batteries for small devices (hearing aids, cell phones for example) and consider obtaining and learning how to use a generator for home use and carrying a charger when away from home, especially when loss of power may jeopardize health or safety.