Be Prepared With a Family Disaster Plan

Learn how to put together a family disaster plan and be prepared for the unexpected.

  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends


All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.


Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail


A link to %this page% was e-mailed

The first aid kit
The following list covers the contents of a basic first aid kit. In addition, you may want to include a first aid manual and a flashlight and extra batteries for emergency use. Keep the kit out of reach of children.

  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Tweezers
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Assorted plasters
  • Sterile gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Selection of bandages
  • Sharp scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Plastic gloves
  • Painkillers (acetaminophen and ibuprofen)
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Insect repellant
  • Thermometer
  • Instant cold packs

If disaster strikes
Earthquake, fire or weather disaster can happen anytime, anywhere. When the unexpected disrupts life at home, keep these points in mind to stay safe:

  • Remain calm and patient. Put your plan into action.
  • Check for injuries.
  • Give first aid and get help for seriously injured people.
  • Listen to your battery-powered radio for news and instructions.

Check for damage in your home

  • Use flashlights. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches, if you suspect damage.
  • Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and get everyone outside quickly.
  • Shut off any other damaged utilities. (You will need a professional to turn gas back on.)
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately.

Remember to ...

  • Confine or secure your pets.
  • Call your family contact — l do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly or disabled persons.
  • Make sure you have an adequate water supply in case the service is cut off.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.

12Next »

Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

We Recommend...

Talk to a Toolman: Q&A With Chip Wade

Talk to a Toolman: Q&A With Chip Wade

Should you hire a pro or do that home repair yourself? HGTV Magazine asks Elbow Room’s Chip Wade to weigh in on five...

Make a Bench With Built-In Side Tables

Make a Bench With Built-In Side Tables

A custom bench with side tables serves as a divider for an open-floor-plan living and dining room.

Talk to a Toolman: Q&A With Chip Wade of Elbow Room

Talk to a Toolman: Q&A With Chip Wade of Elbow Room

Should you hire a pro or tackle that home repair yourself? Elbow Room’s Chip Wade weighs in on five common questions for...


HGTV Inspiration Newsletter

Create your unique, personal style with advice and inspiration from HGTV.