By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

Disaster Preparations For The Family

Everything you need to prepare your family for a disaster including a disaster preparedness checklist, equipment and supplies.
Don't Know Family Disaster Preparedness?



TannerTanner: Former aerospace engineer who specialized in hypergolic propellants. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammo.







Family Disaster Preparedness

A disaster is a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life. Knowing how to prepare for a disaster and taking all the right precautions to protect yourself and your family and give you peace of mind. You should plan and make preparations well in advance of the disaster.




Equipment & Supplies

Before the disaster arrives. 

  1. Emergency power generator (Emergency Generators )
  2. Survival kit/ bug out bags (Executive 72-hour Kit with Solar Upgrade)
  3. Food (MRE's)
  4. Water (Water Filters, Purifiers and Storage)
  5. Emergency lights (Emergency Lighting)
  6. Emergency radio (Emergency Radios)
  7. Two large coolers: One for drinks & one for food
  8. Plywood and construction supplies (in the event that you have to board up your windows)
  9. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your electronics.(UPS)


Emergency Kits

Make, stock up or verify the fully stocked status of each of your emergency kits.

  1. Car back pack, car first aid kit (first aid kit ), auto tool kit (tool kit ) and car contents.
  2. Emergency evacuation backpack
  3. Food emergency kit
  4. Dog/pet emergency kit
  5. Natural Disaster emergency Kit - (72-hour Survival Kits) Make sure your natural disaster kit includes: Flashlights & extra bulbs, Battery-operated radio, Battery-operated lanterns, Batteries (in different sizes!), Matches, First aid kit, Duct tape, Rain gear, Clock (wind-up or battery-powered), Plastic garbage bags, Fire extinguisher, Scissors, Can Opener, Clean clothes, Extra blankets, Heavy gloves.



Family Planning

  1. Make a natural disaster plan. Know when and what you are going to do in advance of an oncoming natural disaster.
  2. Make a family communications plan.
  3. Determine the elevation level of your property and whether your land is in a flood zone or will be prone to flooding.
  4. Identify nearby ponds, lakes, levees and dams in your area and determine if they pose a hazard to you.
  5. Identify and pre-plan natural disaster evacuation routes. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you need to evacuate.
  6. Have a home inspection performed on you house to identify weakness and deficiencies in your house.
  7. Investigate whether to upgrade and strengthen your house windows and garage doors.
  8. Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.
  9. Make sure each member of your family knows what to do no matter where they are when an natural disaster occurs.
  10. Establish a meeting place where you can all reunite afterward.
  11. Transportation may be disrupted after an natural disaster, keep emergency supplies (food, liquids, comfortable shoes) at work, in your car and at home.
  12. Make sure all family members know where your gas, electric and water main shutoff valves are and how to turn them off.
  13. Identify your closest fire and police stations and emergency medical facility.
  14. Coordinate your emergency natural disaster plans with your neighbors.
  15. TAKE Red Cross First Aid and CPR Training Course.



Prepare Your House & Yard For A Natural Disaster

  1. Install window protection. Cover all of your home’s windows and openings. Approved natural disaster storm shutters offer the best protection. If you don't have natural disaster shutters, board up your windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Ref Best Do It Yourself Plywood Natural Disaster Shutters.
  2. Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  3. Inspect your roof for integrity and loose shingles. Repair as needed.
  4. Trim surrounding trees and shrubs so they are less susceptible to damage to the wind.
  5. Clean your rain gutters and downspouts.
  6. If you don't have a natural disaster rated garage door, then cover or reinforce your garage doors.
  7. Clear the yard, patio and screened enclosure of all unsecured items including outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. Items that cannot be removed must be appropriately secured down.
  8. Install an emergency power generator. Test it to make sure it works. Get plenty of fuel.
  9. If you live in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  10. Build a safe room in your house and stock it with basic supplies.
  11. Perform any needed weatherproofing or repairs to home, yard area and fence.
  12. Have basic repair and clean up materials handy (plastic sheeting, nails, duct tape, hammer, shovel, chainsaw, etc.).
  13. Walk down and inspect your the fence line. Repair/strengthen as needed.
  14. Secure your fence gates but don't lock them.
  15. Position sand bags at front door, side door and garage door to prevent rain water intrusion.
  16. Remove your mail box, if it is prone to damage in high winds.
  17. Mow the grass before the natural disaster.
  18. Super chlorinate the pool, add water to pool, remove and store scupper cover.
  19. If your house doors swing inward, install additional locks or supports to brace against the wind.


Prepare Your Car

  1. Perform maintenance on your car to make sure it's "ready to go" in case you have to evacuate. Check tire pressure, oil level, radiator level, washer level. Verify car running condition.
  2. Fill your tank up with gas.
  3. Get spare gas cans and fill them up in case of gas shortage after the natural disaster.
  4. Park your car in the garage, sheltered location or the most protected and highest elevated ground possible.
  5. Secure all of your cars important paperwork to somewhere safe.
  6. Verify car contents. Fully equip your car. See What Should I Keep In My Car?
  7. Make sure your car insurance is up to date and in force.


Important Family Documents

Update important documents and place in a portable and waterproof container. As backup, scan and save your documents on a flash drive, website other secure storage system and store in a safe location. Update or take new pictures of yard, house, house contents and car contents and backup computer files. Email important documents to self or a friend.

  1. Photo copies of prescriptions
  2. Emergency preparedness manual
  3. Photo identification
  4. Proof of occupancy of residence (utility bills)
  5. Medical history or information
  6. Waterproof container for document storage
  7. Back-up disks of your home computer files
  8. Camera & film & spare batteries for camera
  9. Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, copy of will, family records
  10. Important telephone numbers and contact information
  11. Inventory, pictures and receipts of valuable household goods


Before The Disaster

  1. Double check your emergency kits and supplies (food, water, flashlights, weather radio, batteries, etc.)
  2. Identify battery powered appliances and tools and stock up on all applicable batteries. Fully charge all chargeable batteries (Solar Battery Charger)
  3. Get extra cash. Get small bills, ones, 5's, 10's, 20's and 50's at the bank.
  4. Put important documents in a waterproof container or bag.
  5. Plan for your pets.
  6. Monitor emergency broadcasts and be ready to evacuate.
  7. Stock up on ice.
  8. Fill all bottles, bathtubs and containers with water. This is a neat bathtub water storage device.. waterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage.
  9. Verify Clorox in house.
  10. Verify firearm and ammo supplies (if applicable).
  11. Wash all clothing and sheets.
  12. Verify pet medications, if applicable.
  13. Verify prescription supplies, if applicable (enough for one month)
  14. Check pet friendly shelters and hotels (just in case).
  15. Call family and friends to notify of intentions.
  16. Verify supply of tape/tapes
  17. Verify supply of tarps and roofing nails for repairs after the natural disaster.
  18. Make/buy ice. Stock your freezer and coolers.
  19. Move furniture away from windows.
  20. Extra supply of medicines for each family member (and pets)
  21. Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal.