How to Prepare for a Disaster

Know what you’ll need to get ready for an emergency of any kind

In the rush to meet deadlines at work and care for yourself or loved ones at home, disaster preparedness might not be on the ever-expanding to-do list. Putting an emergency kit together is a wise investment of your time with a large return. It could save your life and the people in it—or just make sure you are ready for a major disruption in your routine.

Download an emergency kit checklist. (PDF, 516 KB)

Are you ready?

“Disaster readiness is something everybody in San Diego needs to prepare for on a regular basis,” says Chris Van Gorder, Scripps President and CEO. He also serves as a reserve commander with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. “Government, health care, business and community organizations have extensive plans to work together to care for our community in times of crisis, but those efforts could always be delayed or hampered if the emergency is big enough. Every family needs to be prepared to survive on their own for at least three days in case of a disaster.”

To help families prepare for the unexpected, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has developed ready.gov, a collection of resources to help make an emergency readiness kit. This site includes helpful information on:

  • Preparing for a variety of emergencies
  • Making a family disaster plan
  • Building a disaster kit
  • Getting involved in community disaster preparation
  • How to appropriately involve kids in emergency planning
    Check out the infographic below to see a list of the necessities your family will need for your own emergency preparedness kits.

Storing and maintaining your emergency supplies

Once you have a kit, think carefully about where to store it. The storage container should be relatively waterproof and shock-proof, easily movable, and in a place you will be able to reach it quickly and easily in case of an emergency. Some people use large wheeled trash cans to hold their emergency supplies; others use coolers on wheels.
Smaller kits should be prepared for the workplace and each family car.

Be informed

  • San Diego County maintains a web site that keeps track of threats and emergencies in real time: sdcountyemergency.com
  • You can follow official news about emergencies on Twitter and Facebook: @CalFireSanDiego, @SanDiegoCounty
  • CAL FIRE has a wildfire preparedness website, ReadyForWildfire.org, with steps homeowners can take to protect their home from a wildfire
  • Learn more information about how Scripps is getting ready for the region’s unforeseen emergency and disaster needs and how we have responded to crises here and abroad

Get a regular dose of health news and information from Scripps

Sign up to have health-related information from Scripps delivered to your inbox, including our monthly email newsletter. Designed to help you and your family get healthy and stay well, the publication contains timely and relevant consumer health news along with notices about classes, events and exclusive offers.