Basic Preparedness – Are You Ready?

In this part of the Are You Ready? guide, you will learn preparedness strategies that are common to all disasters. You plan only once, and are able to apply your plan to all types of hazards.

When you complete Part 1, you will be able to:

  • Get informed about hazards and emergencies that may affect you and your family.
  • Develop an emergency plan.
  • Collect and assemble disaster supplies kit.
  • Learn where to seek shelter from all types of hazards.
  • Identify the community warning systems and evacuation routes.
  • Include in your plan required information from community and school plans.
  • Learn what to do for specific hazards.
  • Practice and maintain your plan.

1.1 Getting Informed

Learn about the hazards that may strike your community, the risks you face from these hazards, and your community’s plans for warning and evacuation. You can obtain this information from your local emergency management office or your local chapter of the American Red Cross. Space has been provided here to record
your answers.

Ask local authorities about each possible hazard or emergency and use the worksheet that follows to record your findings and suggestions for reducing your family’s risk.

Possible Hazards and Emergencies
Risk Level (None, Low, Moderate, or High)
How can I reduce my risk?

Natural Hazards

  1. Floods
  2. Hurricanes
  3. Thunderstorms and Lightning
  4. Tornadoes
  5. Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
  6. Extreme Heat
  7. Earthquakes
  8. Volcanoes
  9. Landslides and Debris Flow
  10. Tsunamis
  11. Fires
  12. Wildfires

Technological Hazards

  1. Hazardous Materials Incidents
  2. Nuclear Power Plants


  1. Explosions
  2. Biological Threats
  3. Chemical Threats
  4. Nuclear Blasts
  5. Radiological Dispersion Device (RDD)

You also can consult FEMA for hazard maps for your area. Go to, select maps, and follow the directions. National hazard
maps have been included with each natural hazard in Part 2 of this guide.

Warning Systems and Signals
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) can address the entire nation on very short notice in case of a grave threat or national emergency. Ask if your local radio and TV stations participate in the EAS.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service offi ce to specially confi gured NOAA weather radio receivers. Determine if NOAA Weather Radio is available where you live. If so, consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio receiver.

Ask local authorities about methods used to warn your community.

Warning System What should we do?
NOAA Weather Radio

source: FEMA - Are You Ready? Guide

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