Emergency Preparedness

Five Steps to Preparedness

  • Make a Plan: Planning ahead is the first step to a calmer and more assured disaster response.
  • Build a Kit: What you have on hand when a disaster happens can make a difference. Plan to store enough supplies for everyone in your household for at least three days.
  • Get Trained: Learn simple first aid techniques for the skills and confidence to help anyone in your home, your neighborhood, and at work.
  • Volunteer: Few Americans are untouched by Red Cross services, all made possible by volunteers - people like you.
  • Give Blood: Blood in needed in times of great emergency, but the ongoing need is also great.

Make a Family Communication Plan

You never know where you'll be during a disaster so it's important that your family have a Family Communication Plan. Your plan should be quick and simple to execute, easy for the whole family to understand, and updated with family members often. Try picking a specific annual holiday or family event as the time for updating your plan.

Your plan should include:

  • An out-of-state contact name, with phone number, and email address
  • Names, date of birth, social security. Number and important medical information for each member of your household
  • Where you will meet if you're unable to reach your home (a school, place of business, or other place you frequent)
  • Names and numbers of family doctors, pharmacists, caregivers, veterinarians or kennels (for pet owners)
  • Medical insurance information and policy numbers, homeowner and rental insurance information

Note: Often long-distance calling works better than local calls in an emergency (local lines get overwhelmed); and in a localized emergency, a local contact may be affected as well.

What to Have in your 3-day Disaster Supply Kit

Your disaster supply kit should be checked at least twice a year!

  • Baby supplies: disposable diapers, prepared baby foods, formula
  • Bleach for disinfecting
  • Cash and credit card
  • Copies of Important documents, such as insurance policies, birth certificate
  • Extra set of keys
  • Flashlight - with extra batteries
  • Food - ready to eat, non perishable food to last at least 3 days
  • Manuel Can Opener
  • Matches - in a waterproof container
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Personal identification
  • Plastic bags with ties for sanitation
  • Portable, battery - powered radio-and extra batteries
  • Supply of any needed prescription medications
  • Toilet paper
  • Water - for drinking and household use (at least 1 gallon per person per day)

A Guide for Disaster Planning for Pet Owners

Protect the "other" members of your family, have a plan in place for your pets before a disaster strikes!

Many people consider their pets to be a member of their family. Have you made preparations to protect your pet(s) in the event of a major disaster or emergency?

How will you provide for your pet in the event of a natural disaster or an emergency? Most disasters strike with little or no warning and emergencies come in many different forms. Each can require an overnight stay away from home or even a long term absence. Plan ahead to ensure the safety and well being of your family and pets.

Arrange a Safe Haven

Your first step will be to arrange for a safe place for your pets to stay in the event you must evacuate. If it's not safe for you, it's not safe for your pets. If at all possible do not leave your pets behind, you may not be able to get back to care for them. Make arrangements now to take them with you or to a pre-arranged shelter.

If you must leave your pets at home, prepare an area on the inside of your home such as a bathroom or utility room. Rooms without windows are safer and less upsetting for your pets. Do not house cats and dogs together however friendly they might normally be. Keep small animals securely confined in cages or carriers. All pets should be wearing collars with proper identification tags. Leave enough food and water to last at least 3 days. Place a sign on the door of your home stating what animals are being housed inside and where they are located. Leave a telephone number or location of where you can be reached. Leashes should be hung in an area close to where the pet is being confined.

Be aware that most shelters that accommodate humans will not accept pets because of safety and health issues. Remember, it is up to you to make arrangements for your pets care before an emergency exists or disaster strikes.

You may find it possible to make arrangements for your pets with friends or relatives that live outside the immediate area. If not, talk with your veterinarian or the local animal shelters. Boarding kennels may provide emergency foster care. Identify pet friendly hotels or motels that would be willing to allow pets in their facilities. Ensure that your pet's immunizations are up to date and their health record is current. Include a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.

Emergency Travel Kits for Pets

Emergency travel kits for pets should include enough food for 3 days, bottled water, leashes, disposable feeding dishes, toys, paper towels, litter and pan, medicines, trash bags and a current copy of your pet's health record. All these items can be stored in a sturdy carrier or travel crate with the pets name/address and phone number written with permanent marker. You should include the number where you can be reached as well. With kittens or cats include a pillowcase or EvackSack.

Exotic Pets

Exotic pets such as reptiles and birds will require additional items that are species specific. Items such as secure caging, appropriate food, bedding, and alternative heat source, covers and proper identification and instructions for care. Snakes can be transported in pillowcases or EvackSack until reaching their destination and being placed in a secure cage.

Helpful Resources

Additional Helpful Tips for Pet Evacuation Emergencies

Do not wait until the last minute to get ready. Weather disasters may allow for early warning, sometimes even days in advance. Better a wasted trip than leaving when it is not safe to leave or being unable to leave. Make plans in advance and leave early if at all possible.

In the event that you are not at home when an evacuation order comes, make arrangements with a trusted neighbor in advance to bring your pets and meet you at a pre-arranged location.

After returning home after a disaster/storm, don't allow your pets to roam at large for a few days or until it is safe for them to do so. Sights, sounds, and smells, may be different after a disaster and be confusing to pets making it possible for them to get lost or wander off.

For further information please contact Wayne County Public Health Service at 315-946-5749.

Helpful Resources

You may also wish to check out the following websites: