Be Informed

Download Be Informed Information

Establish an Out-of-State 24-hour Telephone Contact

  • Outgoing calls do not overload phone lines, as do incoming calls to a disaster area
  • Inform all relatives how to call the phone contact before a disaster occurs. Individual location and status should be requested.
  • Take color pictures of every room plus pictures of valuables. Send one copy of legal picture and one copy of pictures to an out-of-state contact.

Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster

  • Choose a minimum of 2 meeting places:
  • A location a safe distance (at least 75 feet) from your home in case of fires.
  • A place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.
  • An alternate place outside our neighbor hood in case access to the first one is blocked.

Other Considerations

  • Stock supplies to last up to a week for each family member and pet
  • Be prepared to relocate to a shelter during prolonged power outage
  • Have extra cash on hand in case electronic transactions (ATM card, credit card, etc.) cannot be processed
  • Discuss with your family the steps to take during a disaster

Meet with Neighbors

  • Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors' skills (medical, technical)
  • Consider how to help neighbors with special needs, such as elderly or disabled persons
  • Make plans for children whose parents can't get home

Contact your local emergency management office

  • Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community
  • Ask how you would be notified

Evacuation Routes

  • When community evacuations are deemed necessary, local officials may notify you using one or more of the following:
  • the Emergency Notification System
  • the National Weather Radio network
  • outdoor warning sirens
  • the Emergency Alert System 

Note: Local media may also provide valuable information regarding the evacuation process.
Be prepared to leave at a moment's notice in an emergency

Planning for Evacuation

  • Have enough water, food, clothing, and emergency supplies to last 3 to 5 days.
  • Many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities. By taking the time now to prepare, you will be better off during an actual evacuation.
  • Assemble a disaster/evacuation kit. Include basic survival items such as a radio, flashlight, extra batteries, food, water, clothing, and all medications.
  • Communicate with everyone in your household and plan where you would go if you were told to evacuate.
  • If everyone in your household is not at home when an evacuation is announced, make sure everyone knows where to meet outside of the evacuation area.
  • Have an alternate evacuation route. During certain types of emergencies, some roads might be impassable.
  • Know another way to get to safety from your house.
  • Make arrangements ahead of time with relatives and friends you may be able to stay with during an evacuation.

Where to Go During an Evacuation

  • If an evacuation is necessary, put your evacuation plan into action. Make sure everyone in your household is accounted for, gather your evacuation kit, and secure your property.
  • In some instances, shelters are made available. Pay attention to local authorities and news media to see if such a shelter is available. If you have other options for shelter available to you, make use of them instead of a mass care shelter.