Personal preparedness is vital to helping reduce the impact to families and individuals during natural or man-made disasters.  Please review the guidance below and visit the links to strengthen your personal and family preparedness kits and plans and review ways to stay informed before and during disasters.


Making a Kit

Emergency kits should provide each family member with enough food and water for 48-72 hours.

  • Foods should be “shelf stable” and not require refrigeration.
  • If someone has food allergies make sure to avoid cross contact in the kit
  • The rule of thumb for water is 1 gallon of water, per person, per day.  Special consideration should be given to water for hygiene and for making bottles for infants.
      • 1 Gallon (fluid) = 128 ounces (fluid)
      • 128 ounces = 16 – 8oz. Bottles
      • 4 bottles/day = 4 days of water for bottles only
  • Organize a two week supply of pills in pill organizer
  • Contact medical supply companies and have at least 72 hours worth of supplies, e.g. O2, bandages, etc.
  • Charge all primary and back-up batteries for medical devices

Having a Plan

Proper planning is critical in personal preparedness so everyone is familiar with where the kit is and how to stay informed before and during a disaster.

  • Disaster and emergency plan lists and templates: VDH; Henrico County; VDEM; FEMA
  • Assess readiness quotient
  • Know your physical limits, e.g. shoveling snow, removing debris, etc.
  • Make a list of contacts you can call (in and out of town)
  • Make sure everyone knows how and when to call 911

Staying Informed

Information and communication are very important before and during disasters.  Below are ways to stay informed.


Getting Involved

Volunteering is a very rewarding experience and many programs offer free disaster preparedness and response training.

  • Henrico Medical Reserve Corps (HMRC)
  • Henrico County Community Emergency Response Team (HCCERT)
  • American Red Cross (Eastern Region)