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Emergency Mgmt Mt St Helens eruption May 18, 1980

3 Steps to Preparedness

A Cadillac is crushed by fallen bricks in Athens Alabama 012312 Photo AP

A disaster or emergency can happen at any time. Taking these simple steps can make a big difference in ensuring your safety and well-being and that of your loved ones.

Get A Kit Make A Plan Be Informed
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 three days. 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. In addition, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.

However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen where you live and the appropriate way to respond to them.