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Emergency Preparedness: Get Ready!

Preparation suppliesWould you be ready to protect yourself and your loved ones if there were an emergency?

Visit our Web site for Emergency Preparedness and Response and follow these four steps:

In collaboration with the American Red Cross, CDC's Web site, Emergency Preparedness and You identifies and answers common questions about preparing for unexpected events, including:

The Emergency Preparedness and Response Web site offers additional information and resources under topics such as hurricane preparedness, extreme heat, and bioterrorism. CDC continually updates information on recent outbreaks and incidents, and lists emergency resources for the general public as well as for clinicians and public health professionals.

Mothers and daughters discussing emergency plans

Talk with your family about your emergency plan.

Remote control pointed at TV

Stay informed. Check all types of media for global, national and local information.

Get an Emergency Kit

If disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water supplies, food supplies and a disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family.

Review the items recommended for a disaster supplies kit or print the Homeland Security Emergency Supply checklist. [340 KB]

Make an Emergency Plan

Make plans with your family and friends in case you're not together during an emergency. Discuss how you'll contact each other, where you'll meet, and what you'll do in different situations. Read how to develop a family disaster plan or fill out the Homeland Security Family Emergency Plan.

Ask about planning at your workplace and your child's school or daycare center. The US Department of Education gives guidelines for school preparedness. Workers at small, medium, and large businesses should practice for emergencies of all kinds. See Ready Business for more information.

Be Informed

Being prepared means staying informed. Check all types of media – Web sites, newspapers, radio, TV, mobile and land phones – for global, national and local information. During an emergency, your local Emergency Management or Emergency Services office will give you information on such things as open shelters and evacuation orders. Check community and state information to learn about resources in your community.

Volunteers handing out supplies

Find opportunities to support community preparedness.

Get Involved

Look into taking first aid and emergency response training, participating in community exercises, and volunteering to support local first responders. Contact Citizens Corps, which coordinates activities to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to an emergency situation. Contact the Medical Reserve Corps, (MRC). MRC are community-based units and function as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year.

Homeland Security promotes emergency preparedness all year round via the Ready America campaign. Checklists, brochures, and videos are available in English and in Spanish online and by phone (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO).

More Information

More Information

  • Page last reviewed: September 8, 2015
  • Page last updated: September 8, 2015
  • Content source:
    • National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs