Planning ahead for an emergency will give you peace of mind and can keep your family and friends safe. State and local officials are preparing for a range of possible emergencies, from hurricanes and blizzards to a flu pandemic and acts of terrorism. You can help also. According to the Advance Practice Centers for Emergency Preparedness, here are some simple steps you can take to prepare.

Family Communication Plan: Know how your family will contact each other and where you will meet.

Food & Water : Have a 3-day food and water supply for each person in your home. Remember individual diet needs and plan for your pets.

Bottled Water Dry & Canned Foods
1 gallon, per person, per day
Keep in cool, dry place
Canned fruits, vegetables & meats
Manual can opener
Juice boxes, canned milk
Dried fruit, nuts, crackers, cereal bars
Baby food and formula
Pet food

First Aid & Tools : Have a First Aid Kit with health products and prescription medicine.

First Aid Tools & Special Items First Aid Kit Remember these important items:
Bandages, gauze, rubbing alcohol
Medical gloves and tape, scissors
Pain reliever
Health Products
Soap, toilet paper, tooth paste
Flashlight, battery-powered radio
Extra batteries
Important documents such as birth certificates and bank account numbers

Evacuation Kit : Have supplies ready in your car or in a backpack in case you must leave home. Pack lightly and include basic supplies for 24 to 48 hours.

A change of clothing
First Aid supplies
Bottled water and cereal bars
Prescription medicine

Review : Every 6 months review your plans and supplies with everyone in your home. Replace expired food, water, and medicine. Update your communication plan.

Take the first step to preparedness by downloading the Emergency Preparedness Checklist . Review and complete this checklist with your family so that everyone knows the plan.