3 Steps To Being Better Prepared for Disaster

be prepared fema

(What NOT to do PSA Courtesy of FEMA and the Ad Council.)
Natural and man-made disasters of recent years have proven that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours. Tornadoes, wildfires, flash floods, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, large scale power outages, and man-made tragedies are just a few examples. And even though the 2013 hurricane season started out slower than expected, a number of extreme weather events are predicted for the upcoming months, and knowing what to expect is key.

September is National Preparedness Month, a FEMA initiative that began in 2004 to keep Americans aware and prepared for emergencies.

Not everyone in your household may be in the same place when a disaster happens, so it’s important to make sure that the entire family is ready in the event of a disaster or emergency.

Develop a Plan
Your emergency plan should include a group meeting place, one near the home, and one outside the neighborhood. Identify an emergency contact person from outside the immediate area in case local telephone lines are overwhelmed or not functioning. Designate responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.

Any emergency plan should also include decisions about where family members will go if ordered to evacuate and what route they will take to get there. It’s a good idea to include alternate routes in case roads are closed. If pets are part of the household, make sure to include plans for them such as pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along the evacuation route.

Assemble a Kit
Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

Emergency kits should include items such as:  

  • battery-powered or crank radio
  • weather alert radio
  • extra batteries
  • first aid kit
  • sanitary wipes
  • dust mask
  • water for drinking and sanitation
    water purification tablets
  • waterproof matches and/or butane lighter
  • crank flashlight
  • plastic sheeting
  • non-perishable food for at least three days
  • disinfectants and medications
  • medical information for entire family, including details about dosages of required medications and a list of known health issues

be prepared fema

Be Informed
Follow disaster relief organizations like The Salvation Army, Red Cross and FEMA on Twitter for the latest updates on how we’re serving on the disaster scene or for ways you can help. You can also sign up for local disaster alerts at is teaching families to be better prepared for emergencies.


Disaster Relief in Moore, OK – Ways You Can Help

Tornadoes have slammed the town of Moore, Oklahoma. The need is high and unfortunately, the fatality rate is expected to rise. Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams are on the ground and providing food, beverage, and spiritual support to survivors and first responders and surrounding impacted areas.

 The Salvation Army is so grateful for the enormous outpouring of support you’ve shown online and through your donations. Our Twitter and Facebook pages have been filled with your supportive comments and questions about ways to help. It is because of you that The Salvation Army is able to provide for these Oklahoma communities in need.

If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, you can donate:

  • Online, please visit: or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
  • By mobile phone: You can also text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”
  • Send it in the mail: Checks designated to “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” may also be mailed to: The Salvation Army PO Box 12600 Oklahoma City, OK 73157

Want to donate something other than money? 

Many have asked about donating in-kind items, such as clothes, toys, or furniture. At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted for disaster relief as there are not suitable facilities to store these items, and manpower to sort and transfer them are also limited. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

Monetary gifts are flexible and portable, and they allow our disaster teams to purchase the exact supplies they need, when they need them, in the amounts they need them. This type of donation is vital in making sure we can continue our work in Moore.

How your donations make a difference:

  • A $10 donation feeds a disaster survivor for one day.
  • A $30 donation provides one food box, containing staple foods for a family of four, or one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies
  • A $100 donation can serve snacks and drinks for 125 survivors and emergency personnel at the scene of a disaster
  • A $250 donation can provide one hot meal to 100 people or keep a hydration station operational for 24 hours
  • A $500 donation keeps a Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding unit) fully operational for one day

Volunteer Information:

The Salvation Army recruits and deploys disaster workers through its local Salvation Army units. To register as a disaster worker:

  • Call your local Salvation Army.
  • Register online at

If you are a new volunteer, registering today, bear in mind that The Salvation Army deploys trained disaster workers already associated with The Salvation Army first.  A standard deployment is two weeks, including twelve working days and two travel days. For more information on ways to give or the latest updates, visit The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services site at:

We thank you for your continuous prayers and support for these communities in need.