Emergency preparation can make the difference between riding out a crisis with some degree of safety and comfort or facing a difficult time, with challenges that range from anxiety about family and friends to finding enough food to eat and clean water to drink
Food and Water
FEMA recommends having at least three days worth of food and water at home in case of an emergency. Food that stores without refrigeration is the best kind to stockpile, like freeze-dried meat, fruit and vegetables. Dried food like oatmeal, other grains and pasta keep well and cook quickly.
All kinds of canned food store well and a manual can opener let you open the cans when the power is out. Having a small barbecue, camp stove or solar oven provides a heating device when the power is out. Avoiding food that is high in salt helps reduce thirst. Adequate water for three days depends on the size of the family and the climate
Escape and Communications
Each family needs to identify the easiest ways to get out of the dwelling unit and meet safely in the neighborhood. Posting a route out of the house and to the appointed spot helps young children leave the home and wait for adult help. Memorizing the cell phone numbers of other family members or storing them in a phone's memory helps communicate with the rest of the family, who can alert others as to the condition and whereabouts of the victims
In the event of fires, earthquake damage or storm damage, shutting off the gas into a home or building can save lives. Turning the water off can save what exists in the water heater and the pipes in case of supply disruptions. Electrical sparks can start fires, so turning off all the circuit breakers before you turn off the main circuit breaker to the home prevents fires. Once the emergency is over, turn the breakers back on. Emergency kits also help, especially those that contain emergency medical supplies like antiseptics, bandages and aspirin
Keep insurance papers together and vital records in one place. FEMA recommends having flood insurance for people living in flood-prone places. Having a digital copy or printed copy of the items in the home also helps when filing insurance claims for damage or losses. Keeping one copy with the other records and giving another copy to someone else for safekeeping provides a backup. In the case of emergencies, cash or travelers' checks can help provide food or shelter for the family if the power is out and electronic payment methods do not work.