How to Prepare for an Emergency
The Cook County Department of Public Health encourages individuals and families to be prepared for emergencies whether they are natural or man-made. Achieving a basic level of emergency preparedness is easy to do and can make the difference between getting hurt and staying safe. Individuals and families should plan for protecting themselves for up to 72 hours.
- Have a 3-day supply of important items in a supply kit for your home, office and car stocked with the following items:
- 3 gallons of purified water for each person;
- Ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or use of a can opener;
- Flashlight, battery-operated or hand-crank radio and batteries;
- First aid supplies including necessary medications and prescriptions;
- Supplies for children, the elderly, people with disabilities and pets; and
- Develop a family communications plan to help locate and identify each family member during an emergency. In case local phone lines become jammed, include an out-of-state contact for each person to call and say that they are safe. It may be easier to call out-of-state than to call in-state.
- Designate a meeting place. Plan to meet inside the home if it is safe. Otherwise, plan to meet outside at a tree, mailbox or on the corner. Decide ahead of time who will be responsible for getting young children and pets out of the home. If your home and the community are not safe, plan to meet somewhere else like a family member or a friend’s home.