Individual/Family Preparedness

Basic preparedness begins with and is incumbent upon the individual or family unit. They must take the time to understand the types of emergency or disaster situations that are likely to occur in their own area, and prepare for them accordingly. Preparation includes knowing when and where to take shelter, how to cope with emergency situations until help arrives, and basic survival for possibly extended periods until such help arrives.

There are numerous sources where information on these subjects can be found, and basic information from the Red Cross and FEMA are listed below. Every individual or family should at a minimum, review the following documents, and take the preparation actions best suited for their own particular situations. In neighborhoods with Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinators, this information will normally be made available by the coordinator; however, we strongly suggest that these are simply minimum levels of preparedness, and everyone should seek to improve their chances of survival by seeking additional knowledge and/or skills. Key ones include having all family members take local courses in CPR and First Aid training. Additionally, we would suggest taking the time to volunteer with local emergency preparation/response organizations. If there is not already an EMCOM Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinator in your neighborhood, we would invite you to help your neighbors by participating in the program.

Another key action is to go to and bookmark the Emergency Victim Locator. After an emergency, friends and family members both near and far away will be concerned about the health and welfare of your family. Your neighborhood Community Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and various other emergency agencies and relief/shelter organizations can enter your name(s) into the locator so that loved ones anywhere in the world can learn of your location and status.

Conversely, if a disaster strikes in the neighborhood of a loved one anywhere on earth, you can check the Emergency Victim Locator" to learn about their status, often negating the problem of having to call each individual emergency agency, organization, hospital, shelter, etc. individually to search their own proprietary databases for information, which often causes more overloading of telephone lines in the area.

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