Personal Preparedness

Here are helpful tools to help you prepare for and recover from an emergency.

  • Printable Family Disaster Plan by the American Red Cross
  • Complete with your family and keep in easily accessible location
  • Includes plan of action, evacuation site, special needs plan, family members responsibilities

  • Printable Family Emergency Communication Plan by FEMA
  • Complete with your family and make copy for each member and home
  • Includes important contact information, emergency meeting places, how to practice plan

Disaster Supplies Checklist

  • Printable Disaster Supplies checklist for food, water, clothing, tools and supplies, and First Aid Kit

Food and Water Safety Information

  • Printable information from the FDA on food and water safety

  • ‘Emergency Financial First Aid Kit’ (EFFAK) created by nonprofit organization Operation HOPE and FEMA
  • Toolkit assists with financial, medical and household contact information

  • Award-winning ‘Family Financial Toolkit’ and video series
  • Post-disaster financial strategies and tools for families

  • Kids - online games and emergency kits to prepare for disasters
  • Teens – how to show leadership within family and community
  • Families – preparedness roles for whole family
  • Educators and Organizations – educational, planning and recovery tools   


  • Create list of hotels/kennels/shelters that allow pets in an emergency and include locations outside of your local area (close to relatives or close contacts)
  • Keep pets’ identification and Rabies vaccination tags up to date and securely attached to their collar and/or microchip them
  • Pet go-kit:
    • Food in tight, waterproof container (several days’ supply)
    • Water (several days’ supply)
    • Travel bowls (for food and water)
    • Medication in tight waterproof container
    • Leashes/harnesses
    • Carriers/cages
    • Familiar items (favorite toys, treats, bedding)
    • Grooming items (brush, shampoo, towel)
    • Phone numbers of emergency vet clinics, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435 - possible fee for this call, animal control office)
    • Vaccination records
    • Photo of pet (in case of separation and assistance is needed to find it)
  • First Aid Kit:
    • Gauze, nonstick bandages, towels or clean strips of cloth
    • Tape for bandages (DO NOT use band-aids meant for humans)
    • Milk of magnesia and activated charcoal to absorb poison **Contact vet before using**
    • Digital thermometer
    • Eye dropper (or needleless syringe) for giving oral treatments or cleaning wounds
    • Muzzle (do not muzzle if pet is vomiting)
    • Stretcher (can be made from nearby materials)

Large animals

  • Ensure all animals have identification
  • Evacuate animals ASAP and know primary AND secondary routes
  • Use experienced drivers and handlers with vehicles/trailers available for transporting each animal
  • Have animals accustomed to traveling in a vehicle/trailer so they are less frightened
  • Ensure destination is equipped with food, water, vet care and handling equipment
  • For cold weather conditions, make sure animals have proper shelter, dry bedding, windbreaks, food and water
  • Establish whether you want to move animals to a barn/shelter or turn them loose if evacuation is not an option