COVID-19 continues to pose a serious public health risk, but hazards like wildfires and hurricanes still happen. Use this guide to help you prepare now so you can stay safe, while also protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

Get a COVID-19 vaccine

Get a vaccine to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community.

Everyone should get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Everyone ages 12 and up should get a booster shot.


Wear a mask in indoor public places.

Vaccines will protect you from severe illness and death. After you are fully vaccinated, wear a mask in indoor public places. You can still be infected and transmit the virus to others. If you are not vaccinated, get your vaccine, and wear a mask in indoor public places. Make sure your mask covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.

Some hazards, such as floods and home fires, can happen anywhere. Others, including earthquakes and hurricanes, are more common in certain areas. Learn about your local risks.

In a disaster, it is important to stay connected and informed

  • Sign up for free emergency alerts from your local government.
  • Have a backup battery or a way to charge your cell phone.
  • Have a battery-powered radio.
  • Plan to monitor weather conditions near you.

Prepare so that you have critical skills:

  • Learn first aid and CPR.
  • Be ready to live without power, gas, and water.
  • Plan for your electrical needs, including cell phones and medical equipment.
  • Talk to your doctor.
  • Plan for backup power.

Gather food, water, and medicine. Organize supplies into a Go-Kit and a Stay-at-Home Kit.

  • Go-Kit: at least three days of supplies that you can carry with you. Include backup batteries and chargers for your devices (cell phone, CPAP, wheelchair, etc.)
  • Stay-at-Home Kit: at least two weeks of supplies. Stores and pharmacies might be closed. Have a 1-month supply of medication in a child-proof container and medical supplies or equipment. Keep personal, financial, and medical records safe and easy to access (hard copies or securely backed up). Consider keeping a list of your medications and dosages on a small card to carry with you.
  • Customize your kits to meet your household’s needs and the season. Basic supplies include
  • Water: 1 gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day
  • Can opener
  • Medical items and medications (1-month supply)
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • First aid kit
  • Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Flashlight or battery-powered lanterns
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Copies of critical documents
  • Emergency blanket
  • Change of clothes, plus:
  • Hats, gloves, boots, coats, etc. (cold weather)
  • Sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. (warm weather)

Stay or go? Depending on the emergency, you may need to stay where you are or evacuate to stay safe. If you need to go somewhere else, think through these questions

  • Where will I go?
  • How will I get there?
  • Where will I stay?
  • What will I bring with me?
  • Who can support me or my family if I need to evacuate?

If separated, or if the phone or internet is down, have a plan to communicate with loved ones.

  • Complete a contact card for each member of your household. Ensure they carry it with them.
  • A text message may go through when a phone call will not.
  • Designate an out-of-town contact who can help your household reconnect. It may be easier to reach people outside the affected area.
  • Agree to meet in a specific place to help you reconnect with loved ones when safe.
  • If you need to leave your home, choose a specific location nearby.
  • If you need to leave your neighborhood, choose a specific location outside your community.
  • It’s normal to have bad feelings, stress, or anxiety after a disaster or other emergency.
  • Plan to eat healthy food and get enough sleep to help you deal with stress.
  • Know that you can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline for free if you need to talk to someone.
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