Emergency Preparedness

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Learn About the Hazards You Face

Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. Learn what types of disasters are most likely to occur in your neighborhood and figure out how to best prepare for, respond to, and recover from the next emergency.


Create a Family Disaster Plan

A well thought out plan will allow you to assess the situation, use common sense, and assist in the safety of yourself and loved ones. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a Family Disaster Plan Template

To create a plan:

  • Discuss what your family will do during different emergency situations
  • Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children
  • Practice aspects of your plan with your children

Key Elements of a Family Disaster Plan

  • Household Information - contact numbers, identification, and unique needs for each member
  • Out-of-town Contact - in an emergency it might be easier to text or call to a person who lives in another town, county, or state. Designate someone to take roll and relay information to the rest of the family
  • School and Work - Learn about the emergency plans at your workplace and children's schools
  • Meeting Places - Designate at least 2 locations to meet; 1 should be in your own neighborhood and the other should be outside your neighborhood
  • Pet Arrangements - Consider where your pet can evacuate; many hotels and evacuation shelters do not allow pets
  • Medications and Unique Needs - Plan for any special medical needs your family may require

Create a Disaster Supply Kit

Families should be prepared to survive at least 3 - 5 days without any outside assistance, power, or internet.

The kit should include:

  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries
  • Solar Powered NOAA Weather Radio
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food and Water (3 to 5 days worth)
  • Non-Electric Can Opener
  • Essential Medical Needs
  • Pet Food and Leash
  • Phone Chargers

Review Insurance Coverage

Residents should know what will be covered if they sustain losses during a disaster. Here a few things to ask your insurance agent about:

  • Flood Insurance - Normally not offered by regular insurers; takes 30 days to go into effect
  • Windstorms - Check with your insurer about what would and would not be covered
  • Household Belongings - create an inventory of household belongings in order to have proof of ownership in the event of extreme loss/damage
  • Earthquakes - Check with your insurer about earthquake coverage; Summerville was the epicenter of a major 7.0 earthquake in 1886
  • Additional Living Expense - Provides aid if you cannot live in your home after a disaster

Get Involved

Resilient communities emerge from disasters stronger when neighbors help neighbors and residents participate in preparedness activities. Here a few ways you can get involved:

  • Participate in Community Planning - Join your Neighborhood Watch and persuade your Homeowners Association or neighbors to develop an emergency plan
  • Create a Preparedness Project - Identify resources, recruit a team, and build a more resilient community
  • Learn Disaster Response - Take a Community Emergency Response Team training hosted by our office and learn basic skills for responding to disasters
  • Measure Rainfall - Join the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network and help meteorologists better predict extreme rainfall