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Emergency Preparedness
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How Can You Prepare for an Emergency?

The Right Supplies

Your family's preparation starts with three basic supplies:

  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries. If the power goes out, a battery-powered radio is the only way to receive information.
  • Flashlights or battery-powered lanterns with extra batteries. Don’t use candles! They start fires.
  • Water to last three days. That’s at least one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation.

Once you have these items, build a more extensive supply kit, using this Disaster Supply Checklist.

Please note that Baltimore County does not provide dry ice following power outages.

An Emergency Plan

A good home emergency plan includes family communication, insurance protection, protection of vital records and documents and caring for animals.

If your family includes an older person or people with special needs, make sure your plan is specifically designed to address their issues.

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Caring For Pets

Pet owners must plan how they will care for their animals during an emergency. Preparing for your pets involves having the right supplies and knowing where you will take your pet if you need to evacuate.

Renter's Insurance

Emergency management officials find that most apartment dwellers do not have renter’s insurance to cover the loss of their belongings in case of a fire or other emergency - even though renter’s insurance is inexpensive, sometimes as little as $10 or $15 a month.

Many renters mistakenly assume that their belongings are covered under the landlord's insurance policies. This is not so. Renters must insure the value of their own possessions.

For more information about renter's assurance, visit the Maryland Insurance Administration and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

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Flood Insurance

Residents who live in flood-prone areas need to purchase flood insurance. Homeowner's policies do not cover flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program provides flood insurance.

Buy A Weather Alert Radio

Image of a weather alert radio.

Hazard alert radios have greatly enhanced our ability to be ready for weather events and some civil emergencies. Emergency managers recommend one for every home.

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Shelter In Place or Evacuate?

During a major emergency, emergency responders will advise you to do one of two things: to "shelter in place" or evacuate. Make sure you understand these terms, and follow emergency managers' instructions!

"Caring About Preparing"

"Caring About Preparing – 7 Weeks to a 72-Hour Kit" is a county program designed to provide citizens with a manageable plan for building a complete home emergency preparedness kit. "Caring About Preparing" gives you specific emergency supplies to purchase each week for a seven-week period.

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National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)

The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) communicates information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs and the private sector.

It recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation's security.  We should be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and know what we should do.

Additional Resources

Many resources are available to help you prepare for an emergency. Baltimore County's emergency management experts recommend the following:

The Ready Set Good logo.
  • www.readysetgood.org
    This emergency preparedness site is tailored for residents of the Baltimore region.
  • www.ready.gov
    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has prepared a comprehensive, online disaster preparedness resource for families, businesses and children. The site includes handy supply checklists.
  • www.prepare.org
    The Red Cross's family preparedness site includes a detailed section on persons with disabilities.
  • Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness
    A publication available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency providing facts on disaster survival techniques, disaster-specific information and how to prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters.
  • www.avma.org/disaster
    The American Veterinary Medical Association provides detailed preparedness information for pets and other domestic animals.
  • www.fema.gov
    Browse materials, publications, maps, photographs, audio clips and video clips related to disasters and emergencies.

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 Revised January 6, 2014

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