Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Emergency preparedness?

A. Emergency preparedness involves advanced plans and actions necessary to respond to a possible or probable disaster. Preparation of an Emergency Disaster Plan is one component of emergency preparedness, but plans to include food, water, and sanitation equipment should also be developed.

Q. What can seniors do to prepare for an emergency?

A. Being prepared is the best way to reduce the effects of a natural disaster or other emergency. Visit this page for more information.

Q. What can I do to prepare myself now?

A. The Red Cross can help you make a plan.

Q. What do I need in my Disaster kit.

A. You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Visit the ReadyGov site to find out more about building a kit.

Q. What to do about my food when the power goes out?

A. Here are some tips for dealing with food in a power outage:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.
  • Refrigerators should be kept at 40° F or below for proper food storage.
  • Find out more at

Q. How can I prepare my Pets for disasters?

A. The RedRover website provides more information on bringing animals from crisis to care.

Q. I think I will need assistance in an emergency situation; what are some things I can do to help facilitate that?

A. Create a self-help network of relatives, friends or co-workers to assist in an emergency and include their name, address, all phone numbers and e-mail where they can be reached. If you think you may need assistance in a disaster, discuss your disability with relatives, friends, and co-workers and ask for their help. Perhaps even train them now, while no threat exists particularly if you have any communication difficulties or someone is not familiar with offering personal assistance. For example, if you need help moving or require special arrangements to receive emergency messages, make a plan with friends. Make sure they know where you keep emergency supplies. Give a key to a trusted neighbor or friend who may be able to assist you in a disaster.

Q. What does Sheltering in Place mean?

A. Shelter in place is a protective action designed to use an indoor facility, such as your own home or a public building, and its indoor atmosphere to shield people from a hazardous outdoor environment. Sheltering in place means persons will remain in a building until emergency management officials issue additional instructions or declare that the emergency condition has ended. It is a short-term option for limiting the potential exposure of persons to hazards that may be present in the outdoor environment. It will most likely be a matter of hours, not days. More information can be found at

Q. What is CERT?

A. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. More information about your local CERT can be found at

Q. Where can I find information on Weather preparedness?

A. The National Weather Service website has more information.