Get or assemble a disaster supplies kit:
Gather enough emergency supplies to meet your needs. A portable kit, stored in a sturdy, easy to carry,
water resistant container should have enough supplies for three days. The Red Cross also recommends
having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home and to keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car.
Check your kit and replace the stock every six months. Whether you purchase a kit or choose to build your
own, your three-day kit should include:
• A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) and ready-to-eat non-perishable
foods, such as tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers, canned fruit, juice boxes, etc.
• A manual can opener.
• A battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries
• A first aid kit and reference guide
• Prescription and non-prescription medication items
• Copies of important documents, including birth certificates, insurance policies and social security
• Cash. ATMs and credit cards won’t work if the power is out.
• Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
• A change of clothes for everyone, including long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy footwear
• One blanket or sleeping bag per person
• Emergency tools, including tools to turn off utilities.
• An extra set of home and car keys
• An extra pair of glasses or contact lenses, extra batteries for hearing aids
• Pet supplies
Prepare a Personal Disaster and Evacuation Plan
The American Red Cross urges each and every household to develop a household disaster plan.
• Meet with your family to create a plan. Discuss the information you have gathered and why it is
important to prepare for a disaster.
• Identify two meeting places; One right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a
fire, and one outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.
• Be sure to make advanced preparations for your pets. Be aware that pets may not be allowed in
shelters. Contact hotels, motels, family members and animal shelters to see if they would allow
pets in a disaster situation. Keep a contact list of “pet friendly” locations. If you are asked to
evacuate, take your pets with you.
• Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. During or after a disaster, it’s often easier to
call long distance, especially if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Family
members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your
emergency contact person’s phone number and email address.
• Tell your family about the Safe and Well web site accessible at all times via www.redcross.org.
The Safe and Well Web site is an Internet-based tool that allows those directly affected by a
disaster to let their loved ones know of their well-being. People within a disaster affected area
are able to select and post standard “safe and well” messages. Concerned family members
who know the person’s phone number (home, cell, or work) or a complete home address can
search for the messages posted by those who self-register.
• Show and explain to each family member how and when to turn off the water and electricity at the
main switches. Turn gas off only if instructed by local authorities. Remember, if the gas is shut-off,
only a professional can turn it back on.
• Plan your evacuation route. Use local maps and identify alternate evacuation routes from home,
work and/or school. Know where you are going and how you plan to get there before you leave
• Find out what types of disaster are likely to occur in your area and how to prepare for each.
• Find out how local authorities will contact you during a disaster. Listen to local media broadcasts
or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest storm conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.
• Contact your American Red Cross for details about community disaster education
presentations that may be arranged or are available in your workplace, school or community
• Get trained in CPR and first aid so you will know how to respond to emergencies in the event
that help is delayed.
• If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately. You may choose to evacuate sooner than alerted if
you think you may need additional time.
Know what to do if a hurricane WARNING is issued
• Listen to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
• If in a manufactured home, check tie-downs and evacuate as told by local authorities
• Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve
• If you are not advised to evacuate, stay inside, away from windows, skylights and glass doors
• Do NOT use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light
• If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when electricity is
For more information regarding how individuals and families can prepare for disasters or to purchase
NOAA weather radios or emergency preparedness and first aid kits, call (225) 291-4533.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross provides relief to victims of disasters at home
and abroad, collects and distributes nearly half of the nation's blood supply, teaches lifesaving skills, and
supports military members and families. The American Red Cross, a charity and not a government agency,
depends on voluntary contributions of time, money and blood to perform its humanitarian mission.
The Louisiana Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross serves the following 10 parishes:
Ascension, East & West Baton Rouge, East & West Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St.
Helena and St. James.