As you begin to prepare, it’s important to communicate with other members of your household. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and knows how to react in the event of an emergency. Establish a list of emergency contacts that everyone has access to and determine a meeting place in the case that members of the household are separated. You can create a family disaster plan (and find many other preparedness resources) at Ready.gov.
Sign up for updates and alerts from websites and applications that will alert you of risks, be they weather-related, security-related, or about anything else that could spark a potential disaster. Also, be sure that you know your neighbors. Even if you’re not extremely friendly with those around you, it’s important that you at least know each other well enough to feel comfortable helping them and asking for help in return.
In terms of preparing supplies, you should have safe water and food to last at least three days. This includes one gallon of safe drinking water per person per day – including your pets. Make sure emergency food is nonperishable and requires little water or heat to prepare.
Put together a home emergency supply kit and include important documents such as copies of insurance policies, health records, and identification. It might also be helpful to include a stockpile of medications for anyone who requires daily medication.
If you have pets, be sure that you’re just as prepared for them as you are for yourself. This includes amassing the appropriate supplies, such as canned or dry food, garbage bags and disinfectants, water, an extra leash and collar, a blanket, and pictures of your pets in case they get lost. You can also get a Rescue Alert Sticker from the ASPCA to display on a window of your home, indicating that pets are inside in case they need to be rescued.
Hopefully all of this preparation will only be precautionary, and your home will stay out of harm’s way. But, like the saying goes: Better safe than sorry!