It’s Never Too Late to Develop Your Emergency Plan


Each September, Americans are encourages to work together to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and communities. National Preparedness Month focuses on developing emergency plans.

It is not too late to develop your emergency plan- check out the "Be Prepared" topics for resources for more information.

FEMA encourages Americans to Resolve to be Ready

The emphasis of this year's Ready campaign includes integrating technology into individual's, families' and businesses' preparedness plans. Research has shown that nearly 55 percent of mobile phone owners in the United States own smartphones. As a simple resolution, Ready is asking all smartphone owners to turn the technology in their purses and pockets into a life-saving tool during and after an emergency or disaster.

The Department of Homeland Security’s contains information and instruction on how you to develop an emergency action plan; how to integrate technology into your emergency plans; and how to develop emergency action plan kits just to name a few in conjunction with the information listed below.


When to Leave the Area

You may be asked to evacuate if the situation has the potential to put your life in danger. This decision is only made when it is absolutely necessary. You man be given little notice, so be prepared. If you are asked to evacuate, do the following:

  • Pack only what you must
  • Take only Essentials Clothing
  • Medicines
  • Blankets
  • Baby Supplies
  • Flashlight
  • Portable Radio
  • Cash and Checkbook
  • Secure your home
  • Shut off utilities if instructed to do so
  • Follow evacuation routes
  • Only use the telephone for life threatening emergencies
  • Keep car windows closed and radio on
  • Avoid driving through vapor clouds and dense smoke
  • Only return home when told it is safe to do so

To learn more about evacuating yourself and your family, please click here.

People with Special Needs

People with disabilities, the elderly and infants all have special needs. It is even more important for these people to plan for emergencies. Prepare a list of the following items and store it near your emergency supplies:


  • Specialized medical equipment and supplies
  • Current prescriptions and dosages
  • Your doctor(s) names and telephone numbers
  • Detailed information concerning your medical condition



  • Who can you call for help?
  • Do you require additional or special vehicles?
  • Does your community have special transportation provisions?
  • Can you register with your community?


Have a five day supply on hand in an easy to take pouch or container

Special Dietary Needs

Keep an adequate supply of special foods and liquids on hand

Other Tips

Keep a small cooler with a 10 pound bag of ice available for medications and special dietary needs

If you must evacuate your home it may be days before you can return. Many of the stores in your area may be closed. Once you leave, you may not be able to get supplies for some time. Be Prepared!!!

To learn how to prepare for a disaster for individuals with disabilities, please click here.


To learn how to prepare for a disaster specifically for senior citizens, please click here.

If you ever have an emergency or believe you may have an emergency ALWAYS dial 9-1-1!

Emergency Supply Kit

An Emergency Supply Kit is a vital part of emergency preparedness.

You may have to survive after an emergency on your own. When a disaster happens, basic services such as electricity, gas water, sewage treatment may be unavailable for days, a week, or even longer. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they may not be able to reach everybody immediately. It is important to have essential supplies to last you for at least three days. 

To learn how to create an emergency supply kit please click here

Print an emergency supply kit checklist:

Utility Shut Off

If a disaster strikes, you may be instructed to shut off your utilities.

Make sure all members of your family/household know how to shut off the utilities in the event of a disaster. Follow these guidelines to help you prepare.

In the event of a disaster, you may be instructed to shut off your utilities.

Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve.

  • Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.
  • The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve (not the street valve in the cement box at the curb—this valve is extremely difficult to turn and requires a special tool).

Preparing to Shut Off Water

  • Locate the shut-off valve for the water line that enters your house.
  • Make sure this valve can be completely shut off. Your valve may be rusted open, or it may only partially close. Replace it if necessary.
  • Label this valve with a tag for easy identification, and make sure all household members know where it is located.

To learn more about utility shut-off, please view the different tabs on this website.