Your ability to access, understand, and use reliable information in an emergency is important to protecting your health and safety. Exercise due diligence before a disaster to find timely and trustworthy sources of information, and to identify “the helpers” (e.g., individuals, volunteers, and/or service organizations) in your community.
- Know before you go:
- Your vaccination history
- CDC travel notices
- Designated evacuation zones and routes
- The local weather forecast and the difference between a watch and a warningexternal icon
- The local air quality forecast
- Sign up with your state and/or local emergency management office to receive emergency alerts and notifications.
- Turn on Wireless Emergency Alertsexternal icon on your smartphone.
- Parents: Ask your child’s school or daycare for a copy of their emergency evacuation, parent communication, and family reunification plans.
- Keep up with the latest flu forecasts and find out if flu is spreading in your area with CDC’s weekly Flu View report.
- Conduct routine self-assessments, especially, if you are an older adult, dependent on a home use medical device, or living with a disability, to determine what you can do for yourself and with the help of a personal support network in an emergency.
- Test drive your emergency (e.g., hurricane and tsunami) evacuation routes to identify gas stations, road work, emergency departments, urgent cares, veterinarians, etc. along the way.
- Not all recalls are announced in the news media. Review the FDA’s weekly Enforcement Reportexternal icon for recalls of food, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and medical devices.
- Beware of rumors and misinformation, especially on social media. Friend and follow verified sources of reliable information on social media, such as your local and state public health departments and emergency management offices.
- Know where to find and how to use fire extinguishers and AEDs, and where to take shelter (i.e., shelter-in-place locations and emergency exits) in an emergency.
- Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and smoke alarms at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time. CO is an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and death.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Programexternal icon (STEP) before you travel to get latest security updates from the nearest US embassy or consulate.