Emergency Preparedness

Winter storms, power outages, flooding, all typical yet extremely disruptive events which can affect our lives at any moment, often striking quickly and without warning. Whether the event results in a significant disruption of daily life or simply a minor inconvenience, your ability to handle such an event can be greatly improved when simple plans and resources are in place. Being prepared for emergencies is essential at home, school, work and in your community. Local officials and relief workers will make every attempt to be on the scene during and after a disaster, and to help those who need assistance. But in a large scale event, especially one that affects a large geographical area, it may be very difficult to reach everyone in a timely manner. The best way to help keep you and others safe, is to be prepared before an emergency strikes. While it may seem like an overwhelming process, this page is here to help.  Here are the most important steps the Commission recommends you take now.

  • Formulate a personal preparedness plan and family communication plan
  • Create a go-kit and First Aid kit for your home, car and workplace
  • Download a weather alert/weather radar app for your phone
  • Keep a camera charged and ready to document all damages
  • Fill up your gas tank at least one day prior to anticipated events such as hurricane, snowstorm or other predictable disasters
  • In case you cannot evacuate, safeguard your home by securing windows and potentially hazardous areas of your home, and emptying basements/ground floors of valuable or easily contaminated objects
  • Practice minor to worst case scenario emergencies
  • Use Google Drive/iCloud/Dropbox to store important information that can be accessed from your smartphone or computer, such as: 
    • Health insurance policies
    • Prescription drug plans
    • Emergency contacts
    • Personal and property insurance
    • Identification (Driver's License/Passport for you and your family)
    • Banking information
    • Veterinary medical records and current photo of pet

Ways to Prepare

Personal Preparedness

Person Using Laptop

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


Go Kit

Go-kits are an efficient and inexpensive way to be prepared in case emergency strikes

Most items are already found inside the home

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Cell Phone Preparedness

Cell Phones

Cell phones are often the best means of communication during an emergency and they can now be a powerful tool in preparedness. There are many smartphone applications (APPs) which can help you prepare in the event of a disaster. 

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Social Media

Social Media Apps

Find updated information on your local health department’s/emergency management’s Facebook/Twitter/other social media pages. 

First Aid

First Aid Kit

First Aid training is necessary in the workplace for emergency preparedness, but heavily suggested for individuals and families with young children and those with special needs. 

Special Needs

Wheelchair Going Into Van

Acknowledge whether you or your family have special needs (including food allergies and having a pet)

Business Owners/Managers

Business Owner Smiling

Prepare communication, all-hazards and evacuation plans

Compose plans, drills, training materials, go-kit labels, etc. in language(s) at level which is understood by all employees

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Weather Emergencies

Lightening Strike


If indoors during event

Follow public instructions regarding driving, closures, weather changes and safety concerns


Makeshift Shelter

Mental health (see Mental Health and Special Needs sections for additional information)

Mental health issues/concerns heighten to much greater extent in shelter settings

Physical & Mental Health

Person Putting Hand On Another

Follow all event-specific guidelines during and after an event regarding boiling water advisories, food safety and cleaning up contaminated materials

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Wrecked Furniture On Driveway

Document all physical damages/losses that occurred to the home or family members

Criminal Activity


Dial 911 immediately if you suspect criminal activity or a hostile intruder

Report as much information as possible: