Emergency Preparedness

Get Ready, Get Set, Go

Get Ready - Make a Plan

Develop an Emergency Plan with your family so you know what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency.  Additionally, know all means of egress in any building that you occupy.

Here's what your "Emergency Plan" should include:

  • Decide where your household will meet in an emergency; one location right outside your home and another outside your neighborhood.
  • Find and remember all possible exit routes from your home and neighborhood.
  • Choose a faraway friend or relative whom household members can call if separated during a disaster.
  • Anyone with special considerations (i.e. seniors, people with disabilities) may require additional planning.
  • Make sure that everyone in your household has a copy of your emergency plan, and a wallet card with important information.
  • Practice your plan with all household members.

Get Set - Prepare at Home

Keep enough supplies in your home to survive for at least three days, and store them in a place where you can get to them fast.  Tell everyone living with you that these supplies are for emergencies only.  Check expiration dates of food and update your kits when you change your clock during daylight-saving times.

Here's what your "Stay At Home" kit should include:

  • One gallon of drinking water per person per day
  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and manual can opener
  • Non-perishable dried foods like energy or granola bars
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights and extra batteries (LED flashlights are more durable than traditional ones and last 10X longer)
  • Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (you can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries)
  • Candles with matches
  • Whistle
  • Iodine tablets or one quart unscented bleach (for disinfecting water ONLY if directed to do so by health officials) and eyedropper (for adding bleach to water)
  • Personal hygiene items: soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper, wet cleaning wipes, etc.
  • Phone that does not rely on electricity
  • Child care supplies (diapers, wipes, formula) or other special care items
  • Disposable bowls, plates and utensils

And during cold weather:

  • Extra blankets and/or sleeping bags
  • Hats, gloves and scarves
  • Hand / Foot warmers

Go - With Your Go Bag

Every household should pack a "Go Bag" - a collection of items that you may need in the event of an evacuation.  A "Go Bag" should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels.  A "Go Bag" should be easily accessible if you have to leave your home in a hurry.  Make sure it is ready to go at all times of the year.

Here's what your "Go Bag" should include.

  • Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations.  Keep at least $50-$100 on hand.
  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and manual can opener
  • Non-perishable dried foods like energy or granola bars
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlights and extra batteries (LED flashlights are more durable than traditional ones and last 10X longer)
  • Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (you can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries)
  • Whistle
  • Multi-purpose pocket knife
  • Charger for cell phone
  • A change of clothes
  • Some basic travel size toiletries
  • Keep a list of the medications each member of the household takes, why they take them, and their dosages.  If you store medication in your "Go Bag", check expiration dates.
  • Child care supplies (diapers, wipes, formula) or other special care items
  • Gas for your automobile in case you need to leave your city or town
  • Contact and meeting place information for your household (Emergency Plan), and a small regional map

CALL 911 when you are in immediate danger or witness a crime in progress, for a serious injury or medical condition, or any other situation requiring urgent attention.

DO NOT call 911 for non-emergencies or to report a power outage. 

CALL 311 when you need non-emergency services and information.  There is a live operator 24/7 and translation services for over 170 languages.

Visit http://www.nyc.gov/readyny for more emergency tips, as well as the following resources.