Making an Emergency Plan

A woman using a flash light in the kitchen

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for an emergency is to make a plan. Consider the types of emergencies that may occur in your area and how you and your family or caregivers will respond. Most importantly, think about your needs as you build your emergency plan.

When making a plan, be sure to

  • Make a list of supplies you will need for at least a week; check batteries and other supplies for expiration dates and replace as needed.
  • Organize a way to receive emergency alerts, such as signing up for alerts.
  • Make a contact list, such as phone numbers and email addresses, of people who support your physical, mental, or emotional health, such as family, friends, neighbors, and care providers. Consider how you will communicate with these people if the power is out or if phones do not work. Make arrangements for your contacts to check on you directly.
  • Think of multiple places you could go and how you will get there if you need to evacuate your home.
  • Think about how you will communicate your needs to people supporting you during an emergency.
  • Use pictures in your plan if they are helpful.
  • If you have a service animal, include their needs in your plan.
  • If you use assistive technologies, plan how you will evacuate with the devices or how you will replace equipment if lost or destroyed.
  • If you use a power wheelchair, have a lightweight manual chair available as a backup if possible.

Once you have made your plan, be sure to

  • Practice carrying out your emergency plan,
  • Review and update your plan every year, and
  • Share your plan with the people who support you.

For more tips on how to prepare for an emergency, visit FEMA’s guide for people with disabilities.