Preparing Your Family in 3 Steps

Helping to prepare families and providing them with security and peace of mind is why we do what we do here at Emergency Zone. We offer a broad range of 72-Hour Survival Kits, Hygiene and Sanitation Kits, Water Storage, and Food Storage products to cover all your family’s needs.

We know emergency preparedness requires a significant investment of research, time, and resources. Deciding things like what supplies you need, how long to prepare for, how much to spend, can all make it feel like an overwhelming endeavor, so to make it more manageable we’ve broken it down into 3 easy steps to get you started:

Step 1: Identify your Needs

Review the checklists below and determine what general supplies you will need for your specific location and lifestyle. This Emergency Survival Checklist is also available as a printable PDF for your convenience. If you are unsure of what natural disasters your area may be vulnerable to, check out this page on FEMA.gov to see what major disasters have historically occurred in your state.

Essentials

Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)

Flashlight

Radio Battery-powered or hand-crank (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

Extra batteries

First aid kit

Medical items, including Medications (7-day supply)

Multipurpose tool

Sanitation and personal hygiene items

Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

Cell phone with chargers

Family and emergency contact information

Extra cash

Emergency blanket

Map(s) of the area

Matches

Further Supplies to Consider

Fuel cans

Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)

Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

Hand sanitizer

Games and activities for children

Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

Two-way radios

Extra set of keys (car and house)

Manual can opener

Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes

Plastic sheeting

Duct tape

Scissors

Household liquid bleach

Entertainment items

Blankets or sleeping bags

Portable Toilet Sets

Recommendations Based on Natural Disaster

Earthquakes

Sturdy Shoes

Work Gloves

Garden Hose

Knife

Fire Extinguisher

Ax

Shovel

Tools; i.e. screwdriver, pliers, hammer, adjustable wrench

Strong Rope

Whistle / Emergency Signaling Device

Hard Hat

N95 Mask

Safety Goggles

Wall Fasteners

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tool to shut off utilities (not all houses will need this)

Hurricanes / Flooding/ Severe Weather

Sturdy Shoes

Work Gloves

Rubber Gloves

Sand Bags

Storm Shutters / Wood, Nails, and a Hammer

Rain Gear

Towels

Weather Band Radio

Fire Extinguisher

Power Generator

Insect Repellant

Whistle / Emergency Signaling Device

Wall Fasteners

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tool to shut off utilities (not all houses will need this)

Tornado

Sturdy Shoes

Wood, Nails, and a Hammer / Storm Shutters

Weather Band Radio

Wall Fasteners

Whistle / Emergency Signaling Device

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tool to shut off utilities (not all houses will need this)

Wildfire

Sturdy Shoes

N95 Mask

Tool to shut off utilities (not all houses will need this)

Winter Storms

Ice Scraper

Shovel

Tire Chains

Tow Rope

Kitty Litter or Sand

Jumper Cables

Whistle / Emergency Signaling Device

Waterproof Matches

Winter Clothes

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tool to shut off utilities (not all houses will need this)

Step 2: Gather Supplies

Once you’ve decided what items you need for your particular situation, it’s time to start building up your supply! Getting to where you feel like you are adequately prepared will vary from person to person, and you really can spend as much as you want. We like to think of preparedness as a journey you work on with time, so don’t feel the need to buy everything all at once. We recommend prioritizing the order in which you purchase items by duration:

3 Days

Government and preparedness agencies recommend being prepared for at least 3 days, so first ensure you have a 72-Hour kit.

2 Weeks

Next look at getting prepared for 2 weeks. FEMA recommends to have 2 weeks supply of food and water as it can take a while for assistance to arrive, water line repairs, electricity to be restored, and stores to get restocked.

Long-Term

The future is unknown, and sometimes unfortunate circumstances can occur, like the loss of a job, food shortages, civil unrest, etc. Long-term home storage can provide you and your family with security and protection in preparation for such events.

Step 3: Make a Plan

Having a plan of action for when disaster strikes will help you and your family make better, safer decisions in the chaos of an emergency, and is one of the most important steps you can take toward getting prepared. Below we have provided some recommendations and free resources to help you come up with your own plan best suited for your family.

Things to Consider When Making a Plan

Where Will You Be?

A disaster can happen any day at any time. If you work an 8 hour job, then 1/3 of your time is spent at your work. If your child attends school, then they are there between 6-7 hours a day. If they are in extracurricular activities then they are there even longer. Statistically, there is about a 33% chance you won’t be with your family when an emergency strikes. Make sure your entire family knows what to do if the time ever come.

Where Will Your Kit Be?

Have a designated spot for your emergency kit that everyone in your family knows about. This way it won’t be forgotten if you need to evacuate, and you won’t be running around in a potentially hazardous situation trying to find your kit.

What Will You Do?

FEMA recommends that family drills should be conducted, so everyone is familiar with the plan laid out. Make sure everyone knows where they can safely take shelter (if needed) during the disaster, and where to meet up afterwards. We recommend that you have a map of your area showing different routes to your evacuation/emergency shelter from places you are commonly at.

Where Will Your Pets Go?

If you plan on going to an emergency shelter, and have a pet, make sure you plan ahead of time where to shelter your pet, or find a pet-friendly shelter.

Who Will You Call?

Depending on the magnitude of the disaster, it can take a while for relief agencies to help. After the disaster occurs, emergency response lines tend to be busy. Identify other resources in your community ahead of time that you can use while waiting for FEMA, 911, etc.

Other Resources

Ready Gov Family Page

FEMA Family Plan

NOAA Radio Home Page

Prepare For Life: Emergency Preparedness Guidebook

Through the years, we've noticed that people swing from extremes of apathy and ignorance to panic and alarm when it comes to disasters.

We would like to offer a third way. Only by preparing in a way that escapes the mentality of fear will you be truly prepared for emergencies, and that is why we are now distributing our emergency guidebook to the public—free of charge, no strings attached.

They say “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” but this guide will show you how. You don’t need to pretend that a hurricane, earthquake, wildfire, flood or other disaster will never happen to you; you just need to know what your part will be— and what supplies you need to have ready.

Printable Family Emergency Plan

Having a plan can help when the chaos of emergencies occur. When you and your family know what to do ahead of time, you won’t have to decide in the moment.

Don’t Stop Here!

If you’ve gotten this far congratulations, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you’re doing now! As we mentioned before, we consider preparedness to be a lifelong and very personal endeavor, so think of these steps as a guide to jump start you into the process. As you work on getting prepared, look for items you think you could add for your own individual situation, stay educated as guidelines and recommendations are always being updated, make accommodations as necessary with your lifestyle changes, and rotate out items from your supply as they expire.