Some buildings with fire damage.

Disaster Kits & Planning Guides

Commit a Minute:  100 Things to Make Your Home Safer
Pick one, 10 or 100 of the things on this list and get started today.  Sometimes it just takes a minute to avoid what could be a lifetime of regret.

Food and Water in an Emergency (PDF)
This 16-page PDF by FEMA, offers a comprehensive list of strategies to prepare food and water in the event of an emergency.  This booklet offers tips on how to store non-perishable and perishable foods, and how to find safe sources of water.

Safe and Well Website
Do you know how to notify family that you are safe and well after a disaster?  This website allows you to identify yourself or search for others as “safe and well”.  Be prepared to use a phone number or address that is familiar to family members and friends since that’s how they will find you.

Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
Are You Ready? is FEMA’s most comprehensive source on individual, family, and community preparedness. In addition to a step-by-step approach to disaster preparedness, this guide provides in-depth information on specific hazards including what to do before, during, and after each hazard type such as Floods, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Thunderstorms and Lightning, Winter Storms and Extreme Cold, Extreme Heat, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Landslide and Debris Flows (Mudslide), Tsunamis, Fires, Wildfires, Hazardous Materials Incidents, Household Chemical Emergencies, Nuclear Power Plant, and Terrorism (including Explosion, Biological, Chemical, Nuclear, and Radiological hazards).

Basic Preparedness Guide (PDF)
Prepared by FEMA, this 34-page guide provides preparedness strategies that are common to all disasters. Plan only once, and apply your plan to all types of hazards.

Disaster Supplies Checklists (PDF)
This checklist provided by FEMA at, will help you determine what to include in your disaster supplies kit.

ReadyNOVAcom Preparedness Planner
This site offers an online tool that allows you to create a personalized Family or Business Preparedness Planner.  This tool prepares you with a full family contact list and includes information on a setting up a central meeting place in the event of a disaster.

Ready America – Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed.
Ready America asks individuals to do three key things: (1) get an emergency supply kit, (2) make a family emergency plan, and (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses. This website is part of a Department of Homeland Security national public service campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.

Ready America Preparedness Information:

Family Disaster Plan at California Volunteers (PDF) Family Disaster Plan with Children’s Book (PDF)
The California Volunteers program called “We Prepare” offers downloadable forms for your family, including one with kids in mind. Fill out the information in the form about your family members, emergency contacts, and a family meeting place to be used in the event of a disaster.

The following customized documents are part of the family plan:

  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ family disaster plan
  • Wallet-sized emergency card
  • Fill-in-the-blank letter for caregiver
  • Fill-in-the-blank letter for out-of-state contact
  • Certificate of completion from Maria Shriver
  • Personalized children’s book (optional)

Video: Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit

California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) describes how one of the most essential elements of being prepared for any emergency is having an emergency preparedness kit.

Homeowners Checklist – How to Make Your Home Fire Safe (PDF)
A brochure about how to make the inside and outside of your home safe by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection at

Ready San Diego – Make a Family Disaster Plan (opens new window)
This San Diego County Office of Emergency Services website provides a printable disaster planning guide available in 12 languages as well as two audio-only versions in English. – Are You Prepared?
Offered by the San Francisco Department of Emergency Preparedness, this website offers a comprehensive overview of disaster preparedness tips, planning tools, and a PDF version of the entire website to print. The site includes household emergency planning forms to keep in your “to-go” kit when an emergency occurs, and “what to do” tips on a variety of emergencies.

Emergency Supplies Checklist – Can You Go It Alone For 3 Days? (PDF)
A one-page printable checklist of supplies to have on hand in case of emergency. and the California Governor’s Office recommend a 3-day emergency supply for your family.

How to Prepare for Emergencies by the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have teamed up to answer common questions and provide guidance on steps you can take now to protect you and your loved ones. Find guidance on what emergency supplies to purchase and advice on food and water to disaster supplies kits. You will also find information on shelters, an explanation on quarantine and isolation situations and tools for coping.

Red Cross Preparedness Fast Facts – Tips Sheets for a Variety of Disasters
View a variety of emergency specific preparedness materials from the American Red Cross (available in English and Spanish).

Video: What’s In My Kit

American Red Cross ideas for customizing your home emergency kit presented by Jamie Lee Curtis.