Emergency preparedness

Check out our Summer Safety Tips (Spanish).
Check out our Winter Weather Tips (Spanish).
Check out our Hurricane Safety Tips (Spanish).

Know what types of disasters could happen

Severe winter weather

  • Stay indoors.
  • Be sure your to keep your phone charging.
  • Be alert & watch local news for updates.
  • Do not drive, unless it’s an emergency.
  • Keep your tank full.
  • Have an emergency kit in your car with non-perishable food & water.
  • If you get stranded in your car, stay inside until help arrives.
  • Run your engine for heat every 10 mins.
  • Charge your phone while the engine is running.
  • Be sure to open windows while heat is on.
  • Turn the radio on while your engine is running for updates.

Building collapse

      • If it’s safe, exit the building as soon as possible.
      • Do not use elevators.
      • Check for fire and other hazards.
      • Check doors for heat before opening them.
      • If you can’t leave, take shelter under a desk, sturdy table, or other shielding object or furniture.
      • Wait for direction from emergency responders.

CO leak

      • Make sure to check your appliances, i.e. furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters etc for proper ventilation.
      • Never use your oven to heat your home.
      • Keep fire place chimneys clean.
      • Never refill kerosene or oil burning heaters inside your home.
      • Always have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.
      • Check them at least twice a year.


      • Stay inside.
      • Take cover under a secure table or in the corner of a room.
      • Stand clear of windows and broken glass, walls or loose objects that may be falling.
      • Do not go outside until the shaking has stopped.
      • Do not use elevators.
      • Plan for power outages.
      • Do not call 911 unless it’s an emergency.

Excessive heat

      • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
      • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
      • Stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day.
      • Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing.
      • Spend time in cool places, like malls and libraries.
      • Arrange to sleep at a family members house with air conditioning.
      • NEVER leave pets or children in parked cars.
      • Arrange to sleep at a family member’s home


      • Bring all furniture and outdoor items inside.
      • Secure grills and larger outdoor items.
      • Be sure to have a recent tetanus shot.
      • Fill bathtubs, sinks and plastic bottles with clean water before hand.
      • Know where your main gas and power shut offs are in your home.
      • Know how to turn off utilities in your home.
      • Be aware of local emergency shelter locations.


  • Plan and prepare your home ahead of time.
  • Do not go outside.
  • Stay in the safest room in your home with the least windows.
  • Plan for power outages.
  • Know where your local emergency shelters are set up.

Nuclear incident

  • Close and lock all windows, doors and vents.
  • Turn off your HVAC system.
  • Cover all food, put in containers or in the refrigerator.
  • Go as far under ground as you can, normally the basement.
  • Listen to local news for updates.
  • Call 911 only for emergencies.

Portable generator

  • Operate the generator away from combustible materials (blankets, towels, animal bedding, etc.)
  • Only fill the generator with fuel when it is cool; fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • NEVER store fuel inside of any animal shelter or animal transport trailer.
  • Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance, heat source, or in direct sunlight.
  • Store fuel only in approved containers that are properly designed for fuel contents and are vented.
  • Only store the generator in the response trailer after it has cooled down.
  • Plug appliances directly into the generator; only use heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cords.
  • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet.
  • NEVER start or use the portable generator indoors, within an enclosed space, or partially enclosed area.

Power outage

  • Be sure your to always have a full charge on your cell phone.
  • Be sure to have a fully charged battery pack up for your cell phone.
  • Always have a flashlight in your home with extra batteries.
  • If you must use candles, never leave them unattended.
  • Turn off and unplug all appliances.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to help food stay good longer.
  • Consider all downed power lines as energized and do not go near them.
  • Call 911 to report downed wires immediately.
  • Do not get out of your car if power lines fall on your vehicle.


  • Always be alert of your surroundings.
  • If you see something suspicious, call 911.
  • Do not leave luggage or personal belongings unattended in public places.
  • Be aware of emergency exits when out in public areas.


  • Do not go outside if you don’t have to.
  • If you are outside find shelter.
  • Close all windows, doors and shutters.
  • Avoid showering and bathing.
  • Do not use phones with cords.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical appliances.
  • Do not take cover under trees or in an open field.
  • If you are driving try to pull over someplace safe.


  • Plan and prepare your home ahead of time.
  • Do not go outside.
  • Stay in the safest room in your home with the least windows.
  • Plan for power outages.
  • Know where your local emergency shelters are set up.

Emergency preparedness kit

Have at least three days worth of food, water, and other supplies per person in your household per day (this includes your pets).

  • Water – Bottles that contain fresh water. Ideally, you should have a gallon per person, per day (including pets)
  • First aid kit – Make sure to keep it stocked and check expiration dates.
  • Flashlight – Be sure to take the batteries out until you need to use it.
  • Extra batteries
  • Radio – Be sure to take the batteries out until you need to use it.
  • Tools – Leatherman, dust mask, goggles.
  • Clothing – Extra pair of underwear, socks, pajamas in case you need to stay at a relatives, neighbor or shelter.
  • Copies of important papers – License or State ID, Lease, Social Security card, Mortgage, etc.
  • Medications – Keep a list of everything you take, why you take it, what it looks like, mg and who prescribed it.
  • Coin and cash – Keep some small bills and a roll of quarters for gas, food and phone in case power is down.
  • Special items – Things you personally need.

Other resources



Sheltering in Place

  • This could be as simple as remaining at home while emergency personnel clear hazards from the area. In some instances you may be instructed to shelter in a room in your home.
  • Identify a room in advance with the least amount of doors or windows Ideally, the room should be above street level, allow room for everyone in your family, have access to water and if possible have a phone jack.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors, close fireplace dampers and turn off HVAC systems.
  • Be sure to keep pets with you.
  • If instructed, cover cracks along doors and windows with tape and plastic sheeting, towels, sheets, etc.
  • Listen to local news for updates and the all clear.
  • If you have a medical emergency, call