Supporting community preparedness is a big part of our mission. Here are some tips for people to prepare.
Have an emergency supply kit ready
Make sure you have enough water, food and medications for yourself and your service animal (if you have one) to last at least three days. Think about other items you may need as well - extra eyeglasses, batteries for hearing aids, medical supplies, etc.
Have an emergency communication plan in place. How will you contact your family members if something happens and you're separated? Share your emergency plan with neighbors, friends and relatives so they know how to contact you if the power goes out.
Develop a map of resources around where you live and work
so members of your support network who are unfamiliar with your neighborhood can find and get what you need. You may want to include nearby places to buy food and water. Also, include fire, police, other city agencies and local apartment/commercial buildings with their own sources of power should the citywide/town-wide power be out. Consider adding taxi stands/bus stops/subway stations, and parking regulations/parking lots, etc.
Ask others about what they will do to support you in an emergency. If you are a person who relies on dialysis, what will your provider do if there is an emergency? If you rely on home care or deliveries, such as Meals on Wheels, ask about emergency notifications and their plan to maintain services. If you use paratransit, find out their plans for providing service in an emergency. If you use oxygen or other life-sustaining medical equipment, show friends how to use these devices so they can move you or help you evacuate, if needed. Practice your plan with the people in your personal support network.
Keep assistive devices and equipment charged and ready to go.
Consider having an extra battery on a trickle charger if you use a power wheelchair or scooter. If available, have a lightweight manual wheelchair for backup and extra chargers and charging cables for all assistive devices.
Make sure you have access to important documents.
Collect and safeguard critical documents. Store electronic copies of your important documents on a password-protected thumb drive and in the "cloud," and if you feel comfortable doing so, give a copy to a trusted relative or friend outside your area. This way, you'll have a record of critical identification documents; medical information including where and how to get life-saving supplies and medications; financial and legal documents; and insurance information as well as important phone numbers, instructions and email addresses.
Disaster Supply Checklist
Build your kit all at once or step-by-step. Start with what you already have at home; then shop for the rest, as needed.
Pack the basic supplies for each person or pet in a portable container or backpack. A waterproof container is best. You’ll need these supplies whether you stay in your home (shelter in place) or evacuate to another location.
Use the list below or download a PDF of the Disaster Supply Checklist to help you be Texas Ready.
Food and Water:
- 3-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned or pouched food
- 1 gallon of water per day for each person and pet
- Manual can opener
- Baby items (baby food, formula, bottles, diapers)
- Pet supplies (more details below)
First Aid, Medication, Hygiene Supplies:
- Bleach – To purify water, mix 1/8 teaspoon per gallon. Stir and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags
- Dental care products (toothpaste, toothbrushes)
- Hearing and vision products (hearing aids, glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution)
- Soaps, personal hygiene supplies, diapers
- Sunscreen, insect repellent
- Face masks to filter air
Communication, Lighting, Document Bag Items:
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries or crank radio (emergency alert radio is best)
- Extra cell phone battery and car charger
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Matches and lighter – keep in a waterproof container or sealable plastic bag
- Reading glasses and sunglasses
- Document bag items (more details below)
Add These Items for Evacuating by Car:
You may have to leave in a hurry to get to a safe place. Keep these supplies near your car. When it’s time, grab them and go.
- Road maps
- Car repair items (tools, spare tire, tire patch kit, oil)
- Food and water
- Plastic plates, cups, utensils
- Tent, blankets, pillows
- Clothes and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear and towels
- Books, games, toys
Before you leave home:
- Fill your gas tank, and check your spare tire
- Take cash, checkbook, and credit cards
- Call your family emergency contact
- Charge your mobile phone
- Get a map of your route
Add These Items for Sheltering in Place:
When staying home is your safest choice, add these items to your kit and stay tuned to the news.
- Smoke detectors with extra batteries
- Carbon monoxide detector (if using generators, charcoal grills, or camp stoves)
- Fire extinguisher
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to seal doors, windows, and air vents from contaminated air or to build an emergency shelter)
Suggested items for inclusion:
- 2 compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 band-aids (different sizes)
- First-aid tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Hydrocortisone ointment
- Pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Instant cold pack
- 2 pairs of medical gloves (non-latex)
- Oral thermometer, scissors, tweezers
- 2 roller bandages (different widths)
- 2 elastic bandages
- 10 sterile gauze pads (different sizes)
- 2 triangular bandages (for making slings)
- First-aid instruction booklet
Imagine how hard it would be after a disaster if you couldn’t prove your identity or if you didn’t have access to your bank account. Avoid difficult situations by making copies of your important documents and keeping them in a waterproof bag. Include the following items:
- Current photo IDs, driver licenses, birth records, Social Security cards, passports (always keep your social security number separate from other documents to decrease the risk of identity theft)
- Current photos of family members, in case you get separated
- Health insurance and prescription cards
- Medical records, medications, and dosages
- Phone numbers (family, friends, doctors)
- Bank account information
- Insurance documents (homeowner, renter, flood, life)
- Property deeds, leases, mortgages
- Vehicle titles, insurance, leases, loan documents
- Inventory of household possessions and their value (take photos of every room, every drawer, every closet)
- Backup computer files on a USB drive
- Copies of important keys
- Utility bills (to prove where you live)
People with Disabilities and Those with Access and Functional Needs:
Think about your day to day needs for independence. Plan now for your health away from home. Label medical equipment with your contact information.
- Wheelchairs, walkers, and canes
- Cooler with cold packs for medications
- Extra medications and dosages
- Copies of prescriptions and medical alert tags
- Food for special diets
- Medical supplies (oxygen, glucose monitoring strips, syringes, etc.)
- Hearing aids with extra batteries
- Communication devices
- Supplies and documentation for service animals
- 3-day supply of pet food, water, and bowls
- Pet medications and first-aid kit
- Vaccination records
- Crate or carrier (may be required in shelters or where you spend the night)
- Leash and toys
- Cat litter and box
- Photo, in case pet gets lost