Emergencies can strike anytime. A tornado, a flood, or even a terrorist attack can change lives. Missouri families, communities, businesses, and schools need to take steps today to prepare for an emergency. Preparing today can save lives!
Step 1: Create a Plan
Create a plan for you, your family and at work. Your family might not be together when an emergency happens. That’s why it is important to have a plan in place. Sit down and talk to your family about how you will reach each other in different situations.
Make sure everyone in your family can get to a safe place and find each other in the event of an emergency. For instance, it is a great idea to designate two family meeting places, one in the neighborhood and one further away.
Consider contacting a friend or family member by telephone or email. Consider making an out-of-town family member or friend an emergency contact. It might be easier to make a long-distance telephone call instead of a local call during an emergency. It could be easier for an out-of-town person to connect separated family members.
You should plan for two situations – staying home or leaving. Deciding whether it is best to stay or go depends on the type of emergency. Officials may tell you what you need to do. In some cases limited communication and information may require you to decide what is best for you and your family.
Know where to go if you have to leave. Sometimes it may not be safe to stay in your home. Plan where your family can meet. Know where you will go and how you will get there if you have to leave your home.
Family Plan (.pdf document)
Step 2: Prepare a Kit
Prepare a kit for your home, car and at work.
For Your Home: During an emergency, you may not be able to get food or water for days or weeks, and your electricity may not be working.
The following items should be part of your emergency kit and kept in a container that can be easily carried if you need to leave home:
- Water – Families should set aside one gallon of water per person per day, to last at least three days.
- Canned or Dried Food – Families should set aside a three-day supply of food per person. The food should be nonperishable items that don’t need to be cooked, such as tuna and crackers or peanut butter. Remember to include a manual can opener. If there’s an infant in the house, include formula and baby food.
- Battery-powered Radio, Flashlight, Extra batteries
- List of prescription medications
- First-aid kit
For Your Car: Keep a small, portable emergency supply kit in your car at all times. You should include a gallon of water, several cans of food, a manual can opener, blankets, sleeping bags, money, and first-aid supplies. If you have the opportunity to prepare ahead of time consider fueling your vehicle as power outages will disrput the ability to perform that task.
At Work: Keep your own supply of fresh water and canned food, a flashlight, and battery powered radio at your desk or in your locker. Everyone should consider keeping a change of clothes, and a pair of strong, practical shoes or boots at work.
For your Pets: Make sure your pets have identification tags and up-to-date vaccinations. If you must leave home, bring your pets with you, if possible. You can plan ahead by creating a supply kit for your pet that includes extra food, water, and medications. A carrier and leash will be important. For cats, remember to include extra litter.
Step 3: Listen for Information
Listen for information about what to do and where to go during an emergency.
It is important to stay calm in an emergency. Get as much information about the situation as possible. If there is no electricity, make sure you have a battery-powered radio with extra batteries so you can listen for updates and instructions.
City, county, and state officials have developed emergency plans. In the event of an actual emergency, it’s important to follow their instructions and advice. They will provide you with the latest information.