This year, hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters devastated communities across the country. These incidents remind us why it’s important to be ready for anything. You never know when a disaster will happen. Being prepared can ensure you, your loved and the things you cherish are better equipped to handle the challenges that come.
As we welcome in 2023, consider these tips to be prepared.
1. Download the FEMA Mobile App
The FEMA App is your personalized disaster resource, so you feel empowered and ready to take charge of any disaster.
You can use the app to:
- Plan. The FEMA App can help you learn basic preparedness strategies like how to create a family emergency communication plan, what to pack in your emergency kit, and what to do immediately after a disaster.
- Protect. You can receive real-time weather and emergency alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
- Recover. Use the App to instantly connect with FEMA’s disaster resources so you can find the help that you need when you need it most.
2. Make a plan
Make a plan today. It’s important to know which types of disasters could affect your area and what to do if one of them happens. Include all members of your family in the plans. You may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
3. Communicate and practice your emergency plan
While making a plan is important in any disaster, practicing your plan ensures that everyone it is designed to protect understands and follows it.
When practicing your emergency response plan, consider these safety skills that could save a life.
- Learn first aid and CPR. Joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) can help you learn these skills and better equip you to respond to emergencies.
- Learn to use a fire extinguisher. Fires can become out of control quickly, you may not have time to read instructions when you need to use one. Contact your local fire department for information and training in your area.
- Know how to shut off utilities, including natural gas, water and electricity. Natural gas leaks and electricity sparks cause a significant number of fires after disasters. It's important that all household members know how to shut off natural gas and electricity.
4. Build a kit
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. For a list of items you may need to build your own kit, visit Ready.gov.