Personal Safety

​Emergency situations and/or incidents can pose a great risk to your personal safety. You should always remain prepared to deal with the possible hazards associated with the occurrence of an emergency or incident. This page provides resources and information about how you can be prepared for your next emergency or incident.

Create a Plan

  • There are actions that should be taken before, during and after an event that are unique to each hazard. Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area, and plan for the unique actions for each. Local emergency management offices can help identify the hazards in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each. Share the hazard-specific information with family members, and include pertinent materials in your family disaster plan.
  • Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disaster, both natural and human-made. You should also inquire about alert and warning systems for workplace, schools and other locations. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, get a telephone call or, in rare circumstances, volunteers and emergency workers may go door to door.
  • A great resource is the FEMA Family Communication Plan. This fillable sheet is very useful in an emergency because it has a place to write down an out-of-town contact’s information, work information, neighborhood meeting place, regional meeting place, school information, family information, medical contacts and ins​urance information.

Build a Kit

  • A disaster supply kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
  • Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
  • You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.
  • Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week or longer. Your supply kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.
  • Additional items to consider adding to an emergency supply kit are found in the FEMA Emergency Supply List.

Be Informed

  • Natural disasters such as flood, fire, earthquake, tornado and windstorm affect thousands of people every year. You should know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself, your family and community.
  • Recognizing an impending hazard and knowing what to do to protect yourself and your family will help you take effective steps to prepare beforehand and aid recovery after the event.
  • Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for all types of hazards. However, each emergency is unique,​ and knowing the actions to take for each threat will impact the specific decisions and preparations you make. By learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency.
  • For more detailed information about hazards, visit KnoWhat2Do.