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6 Ways to Prepare for a Disaster

Follow these easy tips so that you won't be caught off guard

6 Ways to Prepare for a Disaster

Nick Ferrari

Create an emergency kit so you want be caught off guard.

1. Fill a fireproof box. Items should include identification and other important cards, financial records, family photos and emergency cash in small bills.

2. Design a disaster plan. It should include whom to contact and where to meet family members in case of an emergency. All family members should know the plan and the numbers to call.

3. Make a list. Include emergency phone numbers such as 911, the local fire department, poison control, and rescue and ambulance services. Keep it in a place where you can find it fast — like on the refrigerator door.

4. Create a go-kit. Pack a sturdy, easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or a suitcase on wheels, and keep it in an accessible place. To find a list of what it should include, go to

5. Turn off. Know how to shut off valves for gas, oil, water and your home's main electrical supply. Put tags on these valves so you can find them quickly, but have a professional turn them back on again, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warns.

6. Have food and water handy. Store three days' worth of nonperishable food for each family member, plus a gallon of water daily per person. Canned food, peanut butter and energy bars are all good. Important: Don't forget a can opener.

From "99 Great Ways to Make Your Home Healthier and Safer"

(Video) AARP Live (Disaster Preparedness) - Ronnie from Texas: Ronnie from Texas shared his personal experience when a tornado struck his farm. Luckily, the storm missed his house but took out part of an indoor arena and a hay barn. Ronnie says he’s happy to live in a county with a great emergency plan.