A good rule is to have critical supplies and resources you need to be self-sufficient for seven days. Follow these four steps to get prepared.

Preparing for disasters in advance can have a big impact on your safety and recovery in an emergency. You have the power to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community. Make emergency preparedness your superpower!

There are four key steps to being prepared for an emergency. Following these four steps can make it easier before, during, and after any disaster that may strike.

  1. Make a Plan 
  2. Build a Kit 
  3. Know Your Neighbors 
  4. Stay Informed


Make a Plan

Make a Plan

Discuss with your family how you will respond, stay informed, and contact one another during emergency situations in which key services like electricity, water, or first responders may not be available. Once your initial plan has been created, make it a point to discuss it at least once a year and make updates as needed. 

A family plan should include: 

  • A designated place to meet if you are separated – outside your home, or nearby.
  • A plan to contact one another if you are unable to meet or get separated during a crisis.
  • Public safety phone numbers (i.e. police, fire, and hospital) for your area.
  • An out-of-area contact to communicate that you are safe and learn the status of the other family members.

To get started with your plan, download a template provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Once your plan is complete, consider laminating a paper copy AND saving an electronic version to a cloud drive and on your phone. That way, it is accessible in a variety of situations.



Build a Kit

Build a Kit

Having basic supplies on hand can make a disaster less stressful, and in some cases, the difference between life and death. Assemble an emergency supply kit with enough supplies for everyone in your house for seven days. You don’t have to do it all at once, and it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive.

Start with the basics (i.e. water, food, first aid, and hygiene items) that can fit in a backpack or other portable container. Add to it as you are able (i.e. flashlight, extra batteries, portable charger, blankets, and cash) and consider unique supplies that pertain to different seasons. Understand the unique needs of you and your family and take those into account when building your kit. 


know Your Neighbors

Know Your Neighbors

Neighbors helping neighbors enhances community resilience and ensures that emergency resources will reach those in the greatest need. If you can help one of your neighbors, that could be one less emergency call that needs to be made. Reducing the strain on emergency services by helping each other can add up to make a big difference in a crisis. All this means that knowing your neighbors and identifying those who might need extra help during a disaster is critical to increasing Austin’s disaster preparedness.

You can prepare yourself and then get involved in the community to encourage disaster preparedness:

  • Learn CPR and basic first aid. It may save the life of a loved one or neighbor.
  • Take Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.
  • Organize your neighborhood, homeowners’ association, apartment complex, or building to better prepare where you live for a disaster.

You are the help, until help arrives!

Five simple steps can help save a life:

  • Call 911
  • Stay safe
  • Stop the bleeding
  • Position the injured
  • Provide comfort.

FEMA Community Tips can help guide you.


Stay informed

Stay Informed

Knowing where you can get reliable information during an emergency is crucial. During a disaster, unreliable websites and social media can have incorrect, out of date, or even false information. It is important to know ahead of time where you will get critical updates about what is going on in the community.

Take the following steps now so you are better informed from reliable sources when disaster strikes:

  • Warn Central Texas: Sign up for Warn Central Texas to receive emergency alerts letting you know when you need to take immediate action to stay safe.
  • Accessible Hazard Alert System (AHAS): Sign up for accessible emergency alerts in American Sign Language, English voice, and text. These alerts are for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, Blind, or Deaf and Blind. Sign up for accessible alerts online or by texting AHAS to (737) 241-3710.
  • Alerts Page: follow austintexas.gov/alerts for key emergency information in real time in multiple languages. 
  • Ready Central Texas mobile app: Download for iPhone or Android.

Learn more about staying informed during an emergency.