Every September since 2004, National Preparedness Month has served as a reminder to be ready for anything. Staying prepared is even more important during COVID-19. Being prepared can help you and your community through an emergency.

So, what can you do to stay prepared?

Take steps now:

  • Get local emergency alerts.
  • Prepare a kit for home and in case you need to evacuate.
  • Create a household emergency plan.

Get local emergency alerts

Stay informed by following City social media accounts:

Sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia, the city’s emergency notification system. Get important emergency information, like COVID-19 updates, through free text, email, or phone calls. Sign-up by texting ReadyPhila to 888-777 or by signing up on the website.

Prepare a kit

If you are told to evacuate, you will have to leave your home quickly. You should decide what you will need to take with you in your Go Bag. This kit contains basic supplies to keep you and your family healthy, safe, and financially protected when you need to leave your home quickly.

Make sure your supplies fit your family. Prepare for kids, pets, and any special medical needs (e.g., a spare pair of glasses, back-up prescription medications, a first aid kit, diapers and formula).

If you are asked to shelter-in-place, this means that conditions require you to seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location when disaster strikes.  Having a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water are just part of building your Shelter-in-Place kit. If you’re told to stay where you are during an emergency, being prepared will help you and your family.

Create a household emergency plan

Consider the needs of everyone in your household, including seniors, children, and pets. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in your network of family, friends, and neighbors can help with communication, childcare, pets, or specific needs like the operation of medical equipment.

Write down what your family will do when there is an emergency, or use the emergency contact form to record important contact details.

Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if you get separated. Decide on a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Fill out a health information card for everyone in your family to cover all conditions and specific needs for family members.

Keep your important documents safe.  Take photos and store them digitally, or put them in your Go Bag or water-proof Shelter-in-Place kit.

Practice and test

Make sure to practice your plan at home. Practice getting to your emergency meeting places and make sure everyone knows how to get there.

Know the Fire Safety Rules and develop a Fire Escape Plan with help from the Philadelphia Fire Department.

Test your smoke alarm. Nationally, three of five fire deaths occur when there is no working smoke detector in the home. Don’t have one? The Philadelphia Fire Department has one for free. Contact Philly 3-1-1.

Need more?

Check out our Everybody Ready handbook in multiple languages to help you stay healthy and get prepared.