Preparing for an emergency
Make an emergency plan
- Have plans in place for what to do in various types of emergencies, such as cold weather, floods, hot weather, tornadoes, and power outages.
- Keep in mind planning considerations for seniors and those with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, small children, infants and pets.
- Think about your neighbors. Work together on your plans and think of who you can check on to make sure they are ok.
- Identify places to meet—one outside your home in case of fire and another outside your neighborhood.
- Know where and how to turn off utilities, such as water, gas and electricity.
- Make sure your pets are part of your plan.
- An easy-to-use emergency information card that can easily fit in your wallet or purse.
- A basic checklist to get prepared for emergencies.
- Create an emergency health plan for your family.
Develop a family communication plan
- No matter your living situation, identify a family or friend contact person who lives outside of the area in case you cannot reach each other locally. Make sure everyone has this information.
- Use communication plan templates for parents, kids and in Spanish.
- Keep in mind text messages and social media platforms are the preferred communication means in an emergency as cell networks will be congested.
Get an emergency kit
Gather supplies for a kit or buy a kit.* Store supplies in a backpack or container and keep in a location that is easy to get to:
- A three-day supply of water (one gallon per day per person)
- Non-perishable food (include baby food or other nutritional supplements routinely used)
- A first aid kit
- Clothing and bedding
- Battery-operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries
- Candles, matches
- Toiletries and extra medications (don’t forget diapers)
- Games, books, cards, toys for children
- Plastic garbage bags
- Whistle to sign for help
- Personal identification, medical information, and important contact information
- Cash or travelers checks
* Note: Disaster Emergency Kits can be purchased through the Northern Minnesota Red Cross.
Be informed about what to do in an emergency
- Learn more about what your community or county is doing to prepare for a public health emergency by talking with your local public health staff or the Emergency Manager.
- Listen to the radio and television for current information and instructions.
- Become trained as a volunteer in programs such as the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Red Cross or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
For information on Emergency Preparedness, go to the Police Department's Emergency Management: Homeland Security page or the following websites:
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minneapolis American Red Cross
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Ready.gov (English) and Listo.gov (Spanish)