Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Be Prepared!

  • Have a list of emergency numbers readily available.

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  • At home or at work, keep a battery-operated radio and flashlight on hand, as well as a supply of batteries. Keep an emergency supply of water, medications, and non-perishable foods handy. If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem - check with your physician or pharmacist.

  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.

  • If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving an inch of space inside each one - this will help keep food cold if the power goes out.

  • If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the manual release level and learn how to operate it.

  • Keep your car’s gas tank at least half-full; gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do not keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home - this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Plan to have an alternative cooking source, such as a camp stove or outdoor grill. Follow appropriate safety rules for its use outside the residence.

  • If you are considering a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.

  • Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves on hand to keep warm.

  • If you have a computer, back up files and operating systems regularly. Turn off all computers, monitors, and other devices when they are not being used.

  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent such as a medical device, determine a back-up plan. For example, if you have a telephone that requires electricity to work, plan for alternate communication such as a standard telephone handset, cell phone, or radio.

  • Learn about emergency plans in your area, including the location of the closest cooling and warming shelters, by visiting your state’s or local website.