Have a Disaster Plan

Create a disaster plan

It's important to plan ahead, especially for disasters. Your may be without electricity, the grocery stores might be closed, your phones may be out—you never know. So prepare now for problems you might encounter down the road. You will be better prepared to take care of your family and loved ones during an emergency if you plan in advance.

  • Choose an out-of-town emergency contact. During a disaster, it can actually be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town.
  • Make sure that each of your family members have the phone number and a cell phone, coins or prepaid phone cards to call the emergency contact.
  • If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know.
  • Since text messaging can often bypass telephone network disruptions that may occur, they are often a more reliable method of emergency communication. Be sure that each of your family members know how to use text messaging.
  • Subscribe to Oldham County's One Call emergency notification system. You will receive important, up-to-the-minute information on disasters in your area.
  • It's also important to inquire about the emergency plans set up where you and your family spends the most time—work, church, school or daycare. If they don't already have an emergency plan, help them set one up.

Decide whether to stay or go

Sometimes the most important decision you make during a disaster may be whether to stay where you are or evacuate. In either case, you need a plan for both possibilities. And don't count on the police, EMA or even us to be able to help you immediately. Disasters can often overwhelm even the best-staffed agencies. To get the most accurate information on what's happening and what you should do, watch local TV and listen to the radio.

Items you should consider for a basic emergency supply kit

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit (see the column at right for our suggestions)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children