How to Prepare

Here are some basic guidelines to help you prepare your:

Home & Family

An emergency can happen at any time – often when you least expect it. Do you know what to do or where to go? After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it may take days. Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives? How will you care for your pets? Who will check in with the neighbors?

Everything from preparing a disaster kit to making sure that all family members know how and when to wash their hands can help ensure that you and your family have taken the right steps to protect yourselves during an emergency. Below are the key things to remember:

  • Make sure everyone in your family knows where you keep emergency supplies and a first aid kit
  • Know important phone numbers
  • Know where family members will meet in case they can’t get home
  • Know your community’s public alert system
  • Know your child’s school emergency plan

Additional Resources

(Please note, some of the following files are in PDF format. Click Here to Download the FREE Adobe PDF Reader.)

Ready America – a great introduction to Military family preparedness.

4 Steps to Becoming Better Prepared

Writing a Family Emergency Plan

Emergency Kit Checklist

Online Family Emergency Planning Tool created by the Ready Campaign

Preparedness for Older Populations:

Medications and Medical Supplies

Fire Safety and First Responders

Communication and Evacuation Planning


You can also call us at 761-9899 to learn more.

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Why should your business be prepared for an emergency? First of all, it is just “good business,” and planning for disasters in advance and keeping those plans updated will help ensure the survival of your business. Every business should have a business emergency plan. It is important to protect the people who work for you as well as your company’s assets.

Since many people spend most of their day at their job, it makes sense to be prepared if an emergency happens while you are at work. It is important to know exactly what would happen in your workplace during an emergency. Many workplaces already have emergency plans- so know the plan and how it affects you.

NIOSH- Emergency Preparedness for Businesses

Office of Personnel Management- HR Issues with Pandemics

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Churches & Faith Communities

Churches can be a very important part of mitigating the health, social, and economic impacts of an emergency. One of the best ways that churches can help their community is to educate members in preparing their families and to encourage outreach and neighborhood leadership.

Churches can also plan how they will respond to disasters, large and small, in their own facilities and communities. These plans need to be well thought-out and discussed by the church leadership.

Remember that preparedness includes vulnerable populations, such as the very young and very old, homebound, ill, and many others.

Potential roles of faith communities in a community emergency:

  • Cooperating with other local agencies in times of disaster
  • Participate in ministries such as the receiving, sorting and distributing of clothing, bedding, bulk food, clean-up and household supplies.
  • Provide food, housing, communication and other needs for parishioners, and out-of-town volunteers who come to help with the response efforts.
  • Serve as a shelter: by planning before a disaster strikes, the local government and the local authorities will know that a shelter can be set up in the church facilities and how many people it can accommodate.

For more information, visit these online resources or contact us at 761-9899.

Pandemic Flu Planning for Faith Based Communities

Alabama’s Be Ready Sunday program

New York Disaster Interfaith Services

Light Our Way: A Guide for Spiritual Care in Times of Disaster

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Mental Health

Anyone who experiences a disaster is affected by it, and afterward, strong and varied emotional reactions are natural. Many experience different signs of stress, fear, or anxiety. Providing mental health support for victims and responders is essential with any emergency and we are always looking for mental health professionals to volunteer and participate in our planning. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at 761-9899.

For more information, you can download our Mental Health: After the Disaster Fact Sheet or visit the CDC Disaster Mental Health and Maintaining a Healthy State of Mind websites for general strategies for promoting mental health after an emergency.

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Schools should all have site-specific emergency plans. Emergencies of all kinds occur in schools daily and these emergencies can have a major impact on students, faculty, parents, and the community. Schools should be prepared to effectively and efficiently respond to a multitude of emergency/crisis situations that may impact students, staff, and parents. Planning will reduce the level of confusion that occurs during an emergency and will allow schools to return to normal quicker.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Advertising Council are promoting Ready Kids, a family-friendly tool to help parents and teachers educate children ages 8-12 about emergencies and how they can help their families better prepare.

Other Online Resources

Montana Safe Schools Center- University of Montana

School Based Emergency Preparedness

Pandemic Planning for Schools

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools

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There are community partners working together to make sure that we are prepared in the event of an emergency. Regardless, all citizens should be aware of how to prevent, protect, and prepare for all hazards. This requires a role for citizens in personal preparedness and ongoing volunteer programs. Being prepared for a disaster is often the key to surviving one. There are organizations in place that are helping to ensure your community is prepared and that you are aware of an occurring situation.

LEPC- Local Emergency Planning Committee

In recent years, the LEPC’s planning efforts have been focused on planning for a variety of disasters that may affect the community. Floods, hazardous material spills, wildfires, natural disasters, and even terrorism all constitute real challenges facing our community today. Federal and State planners have advocated for development of “All-Hazards” planning, which prepare towns for any disaster. The Cascade County LEPC meets every other month.

Emergency Alert System

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, television systems, wireless cable systems, radio service providers and satellite providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a National emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to a specific area.

To hear emergency information in Cascade County, tune your radio to KMON 560 AM.

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