How to Prepare for Emergencies

You can prepare for a potential fire or flood in much the same way you would for a blizzard that could knock out electricity and confine you to your home. The American Red Cross recommends putting together a family disaster plan and disaster supply kit.

Creating a Family Disaster Plan

  • Each Brookline School has a plan tailored to their specific needs. Parents should know what they can expect from the school and what is expected of them.
  • Identify a meeting location near your home if you can’t return home.
  • Identify an alternate location if you can’t return to the area.
  • Identify an out-of-state friend or relative as a contact person for everyone to call.
  • Keep family records in water and fire-proof containers.
  • Know how information is relayed to parents in an emergency and keep the school up-to-date on emergency contact information.
  • Learn about your child’s individual School Emergency Plan
  • Learn first aid / CPR from American Red Cross.
  • Meet with family members and discuss the dangers of possible emergency events, including fire, severe weather, hazardous spills, and terrorism and how you will respond to each emergency.
  • Meet with your neighbors to discuss potential disasters.
  • Plan how your family would stay in contact if separated by disaster, or if you can’t return home for some reason.
  • Post emergency numbers by every phone. Teach children how to make emergency and long-distance phone calls.
  • Prepare disaster supply kits for home and travel.

Disaster Supply Kits

In addition to preparing a home disaster kit, place supplies needed for an evacuation in an easy to carry container.


  • Plan for 1 gallon per person per day (for drinking and food preparation / sanitation) in plastic containers.
  • Stock at least a 3-day supply per person


  • Food for infants or persons on special diets
  • Pack a 3-day supply of non-perishable food that requires no cooking, refrigeration, or water such as:
    • Canned meats
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Soup
    • Juices
    • Cereal
    • Cookies
    • Candy
    • Crackers
    • Vitamins

First Aid Kit

Assemble a basic kit for home and car. Include the following:

  • Antiseptic
  • Aspirin pain reliever,
  • Antacid, anti-diarrhea, etc.
  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Latex gloves
  • Needle / tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen
  • Tape

Clothing & Bedding

  • Blankets or Sleeping Bags
  • One complete change of clothing per person
  • Rain gear, hats, gloves
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Thermal underwear

Tools & Supplies

  • Basic tools such as hammer, pliers, wrench, etc.
  • Battery-operated radio with spare batteries
  • Cash / travelers checks
  • Chlorine / disinfectant
  • Compass / map
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Manual can opener
  • Masking tape / plastic sheeting
  • Plastic plates, cups, utensils, garbage bags
  • Signal flare and whistle
  • Utility knife

Special Items

  • Contact lenses / eye glasses / dentures
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Important personal documents (in waterproof container, include passport / birth certificate, wills, account numbers, household inventory)
  • Infant diapers, bottles, formula, medication
  • Make sure car gas tank is at least half full
  • Matches (in waterproof container)
  • Pet care items
  • Prescriptions / special medications
  • Smoke detectors (check batteries regularly)
  • Soap, toilet paper, personal hygiene items

Business Preparedness

The following are some basic steps that businesses should take to prepare for an emergency:

  • Develop and display an evacuation plan and test this plan regularly.
  • Identify critical business functions that absolutely must continue and develop a process to ensure these will carry on.
  • Identify employees that can serve as team leaders. Team leaders should be trained to assist fellow employees in an emergency.
  • Maintain sufficient insurance coverage for your business.
  • Prepare backups and store offsite all computer records, such as payroll, inventory, etc.
  • Prepare employee rosters with emergency contact information.