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How do I prepare?


The American Red Cross and FEMA agree: there’s a three-step program for becoming prepared for disasters. You need supplies to get you through the first few days after a disaster (“Get a Kit”), and you need to make a plan for what you and your crew will do when the disaster hits (“Make a Plan”).

Get a Kit 

Get a Kit (American Red Cross)
Tener un equipo de suministros

Build A Kit - (FEMA)
 Cómo preparar un kit

  • Two variations on "get a kit": things you'll need to make it through the first three days after a disaster.

72Hours (City of San Francisco)

  • Another take on disaster kits, this one including things you may already own. (Yes, it's San Francisco, but the principles apply here, too.)

21 Weeks to Prepare (American Red Cross)
21 Semanas para prepararse

  • Easy-to-follow calendar for gradually building up your personal disaster supplies kit.

10 Things Employees Can Do to Prepare at Work (American Red Cross)
10 Maneras que un empleado se puede preparar en el trabajo

  • You spend a lot of time there – you need to be ready at work, not just at home.

Food and Water in an Emergency (American Red Cross/FEMA)
Agua y Alimentos en una Emergencia
비상식량 및 식수

  • How much to have, how to store it, and how to use it when the lights go out.

Important Legal Documents for Emergency Preparedness 

  • Like the rest of life, disasters require paperwork. Here's what you should have.

Make a Plan

Family Communication Plan (FEMA) 
Plan de Comunicaciones Familiares
가족 비상 계획

  • Where is everybody? Where should they go? Whom should they call? Work it out ahead of time.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Pet Owners (FEMA)
La preparación de sus mascotas para emergencias tiene sentido. Esté listo ahora.
애완동물에 대해서도 비상 사태를 대비해야 합니다. 지금 준비하십시오.

  • Don't forget Spot and Fluffy! Learn how to disaster-proof your four-legged family members.

Prepare For Emergencies Now: Information For Older Americans (FEMA)  
La preparación tiene sentido para los estadounidenses mayores. Esté listo ahora.
고령자 미국인도 대비해야 합니다. 지금 준비하십시오.

  • Disasters are even harder on older people. Some things to think about as you make your plan.

Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for People with Disabilities  (FEMA)  
La preparación tiene sentido para las personas con discapacidades y necesidades especiales.
장애인과 특별지원이 필요한 사람도 대비해야 합니다.지금 준비하십시오.

  • It’s often enough of a challenge to get around now. What if the world turns upside down?

Helping Children Cope with Disaster (American Red Cross)
Cómo ayudar a los niños a confrontar una catástrofe

  • Kids don't have the same coping ability grown-ups do. Disasters are scary -- here's how to help your kids get through them.

Child Emergency Information Card (TeamSafe-T)

  • Got kids? Make sure their teachers, coaches or daycare workers have the 411 on them.

Secure Your Space  (Earthquake Country Alliance)
Asegure su espacio interior

  • Guide to securing your home, school, or office against earthquakes.

Got a Business? Make a Plan!

Yes, we know you're busy, but your small or medium-sized business needs disaster planning. A large proportion of small businesses that close because of a disaster never reopen. Don't let this happen to you!

Open for Business (Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety)
Planificación simplificada ante desastres

  • Easy-to-use tools for building your business' disaster plan. Where are your people? What do you do with your stuff?

Prepare for Emergencies (Small Business Administration)
Prepárese para emergencias

  • Tools, training, exercises, and SBA disaster assistance info.

7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business (Earthquake Country Alliance)

  • Surveying your business and making those first preparedness steps.

Ready Rating (American Red Cross)

  • Red Cross-sponsored program providing assessments, tools and help to prepare your business.

Disaster Tips Sheets for U.S. Religious Leaders (National Disaster Interfaiths Network)

  • What religious leaders have to say about preparing your congregation and your place of worship.


Think you're covered? Most homeowner's and renter's policies don't cover flood or earthquake damage. Read your policy, then check these resources for what you may be missing.

Earthquake Insurance (CA Department of Insurance)
CA Earthquake Authority
Earthquake Insurance Shopping Resources for Homeowners (United Policyholders)

The National Flood Insurance Program in CA Quick Guide (CA Department of Water Resources)
FloodSmart (National Flood Insurance Program)
Programa Nacional de Seguro contra Inundación

United Policyholders Disaster Recovery

  • Disaster-related news, tips, and resources for insurance policyholders, from United Policyholders, a nonprofit educational and advocacy group.


What am I preparing for?
How do I know if something’s happening?
What do I do if something happens?
What do I do when it’s over?