Regional Disaster Preparedness


Do you know the four steps to being ready?

  • Make a Plan
    • Build a Kit
      • Stay Informed
        • Know Your Neighbors

Click the steps below to find out how you can be ready.

The first step in preparing for disasters is to make a plan.

Have a plan for what you and your family will do in an emergency. Consider how you will communicate with each other, where you will meet, and who you can leave messages with out-of-state if you can't reach people locally. If you or a loved one has special needs, be sure to account for these as well.

Be sure everyone in the family knows how to get in touch with one another. Keep a list of important phone numbers by the phone and in your emergency kit. If the power goes out or cell networks are overloaded, it may be easier to reach someone out of the region, so be sure to identify an out-of-state contact that everyone in your family can check in with if you can't reach each other. If you aren't able to communicate at all, designate meeting places where people agree to go. Pick one near your home for emergencies that happen at home, and another outside the region as an "evacuation meeting point."

It sometimes helps to have plans for specific events. For example, everyone at home should know at least two ways out of the house should there be a fire. If a chemical emergency happened, you should know which room in your house to use for shelter-in-place, and what steps need to be taken to make that room ready to serve as a shelter. If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, a plan on what needs to be packed in the car before evacuation and where to meet up is a good idea.

If a loved one at home or in the area has access and functional needs, be sure to include this in your plan. Know what additional steps need to be taken to assist that person in an emergency and what to do if your "Plan A" doesn't work. Also include information on medications, medical devices, and doctors if that person has medical problems. And be sure to include this person in the planning process, as he or she may be able to point out steps that are missing from the plan.

Next, build a kit.

After you have your plan, start building a kit. The basics include enough food and water to last five to seven days. Then, start thinking about other needs. Make a list of the things you use every day. Don't worry about buying everything at once; instead, pick up a couple extras of a few items each time you go to the store. The following is an example of items to include. However, be sure to think beyond this list so you don't leave anything out.

Basic Supplies List

These supplies should be enough to last five to seven days at home. Smaller versions may be appropriate for work or your vehicle.

  • Water (one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and tone-alert weather radio, with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Rain gear
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Filter mask or cotton t-shirt to help filter the air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener if kit contains canned food
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape for shelter-in-place
  • Items for unique family needs, such as prescription medications, infant formula, and diapers
  • Paper towels and disposable cups, plates, and utensils
  • Cash or traveler's checks, change
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Disinfectant
  • Copies of important family documents in a waterproof container (see lists below)
  • Books, board games, and other non-electronic entertainment
  • Pet food and one gallon of water per day per pet

Personal Papers

  • Social Security numbers
  • Important addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses
  • Birth certificates or adoption papers
  • Marriage certificate
  • Citizenship documents, naturalization papers, and passports
  • Drivers licenses and state IDs
  • Vaccination records, medication lists, and blood types
  • Court orders relating to divorce, child support, custody, alimony, or property division

Financial Information

  • Wills (Last Will and Testament or Living Wills)
  • Powers of attorney documentation
  • Insurance policies, including policy numbers, coverage limits, and insurance agent contact information
  • Bank accounts with account numbers and bank contact information
  • Credit card account numbers with card company contact information
  • Real estate documents (leases, deeds, mortgages, promissory notes, and closing papers)
  • Vehicle titles
  • Bonds, stock certificates, sales contracts, and financial agreements

If you stay informed, you'll know when disasters are going to strike.

Be sure to keep up with information from your local government leaders and media. If the Emergency Alert System is activated, tune to 740 AM or 88.7 FM to receive emergency messages. And many jurisdictions offer text message or email notifications. But don't just rely on one source--stay informed by using multiple sources of information.

Help your comminity be ready and get to know your neighbors.

Disasters shouldn't be the only time our communities come together. Make the time now to get to know your neighbors so you're ready to help each other out when disaster strikes. And make sure your neighbors are prepared too, because there's no better resource than a prepared community!

Are You
A Plan
A Kit
Know Your


The Houston Region is the kind of place where big ideas typically become larger-than-life realities. Throw any challenge our way and we meet it head on. But are we really ready for anything?

No one likes to think about disasters, but they happen here just like in every other part of the world. The question is: are you prepared to survive them?

This site is designed to provide quick access to local and national information on disaster preparedness. The Ready Houston program has produced videos on a variety of topics related to emergency preparedness. Local agencies provide training that helps citizens prepare. And our partners are also a valuable source of information.

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A 15-minute DVD is available to prepare you and your family on how to respond to and recover from the effects of any disaster.

Are You Ready? DVD Set
Order your free copy of the DVD now!

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This website provides emergency preparedness information for a five-county region in Southeast Texas. The represented jurisdictions include Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, and Montgomery Counties, as well as the Cities of Galveston, Houston, LaPorte, and Pasadena.

The program is a localized version of FEMA's program. The goal of Ready Houston is to tailor emergency preparedness messages to the unique hazards faced in the greater Houston region.

This website and its content are made possible through grant funding from the US Department of Homeland Security. The Ready Houston program and its products are funded through the Urban Areas Security Initiative grant, while Make the Call and Run. Hide. Fight.® are funded through the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Initiative.