When disaster strikes, you may not have much time to act.

Prepare now for an emergency.

Learn how to protect yourself and cope with disaster by planning ahead. The following checklists will help you get started. Discuss these ideas with your family, then prepare an emergency plan. Post the plan where everyone will see it–on the refrigerator or bulletin board.

Home Emergency Kit Checklist

  • High Priority Items
  • Battery-powered radio with batteries
  • Flashlights or battery-powered lantern with batteries
  • Water to last three days, at least one gallon per person per day, and don’t forget your pets!
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable items
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid supplies
  • A watertight, portable container for important papers
  • Prescription medications
  • Blankets
  • Infant formula, diapers, and wipes
  • Pet supplies
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Bleach
  • Disinfectant
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Feminine supplies
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Dust mask
  • Garbage bags
  • Signal flare
  • Whistle
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Jumper cables
  • Toys and games for kids

Once you have these basic items, build a more extensive kit. For more information, visit:  www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/emergency

During an emergency, stay tuned to your local radio or television station for more Information, visit:  www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/emergency 

Family Emergency Planning

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes. It is important to plan in advance how to contact each other and where you will go.

Family Emergency Plan:

  • Compile a list of contact information for the family member.
  • Cell phones may not work during an emergency if the system is overwhelmed so consider a variety of phone options.
  • Learn to send text messages for emergency purposes.
  • Establish an out- of- town contact.
  • Keep a map in your kit if you are unfamiliar with area roads.
  • Designate a meeting place in case family members to get separated.
  • Remember to include your pets in your emergency plan.
  • Review and store insurance policies and other secure documents in a safe location where you can easily retrieve them if you need to evacuate.

Implementing Your Plan:

  • Make sure every family member, including children, understands the family emergency plan.
  • Ask about emergency plans at your family’s workplaces, daycare centers, and schools.
  • Talk to your neighbors about working together in the event of an emergency.
  • Practice and update your emergency plan.
  • Remember to change smoke detector batteries when moving clocks ahead

During an emergency, stay tuned to your local radio or television station for more information.

Severe Thunderstorms

Baltimore-area summers bring the threat of severe thunderstorms. Thunderstorms bring the risks of lightning strikes, injury or damage from hail, high winds, and power outages.

Before a storm:

  • Go indoors, if possible.
  • Avoid standing under trees or other tall, open structures.
  • Leave the water immediately if swimming in pools or lakes.
  • If boating, go to land and seek shelter immediately.
  • Have your flashlight or battery operated lanterns ready.

During a storm:

  • Don’t use corded telephones (cell phones are safe). Computers, wash dishes or take a bath/shower; lightening can strike plumbing and electrical wires.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • If inside a car, do not touch anything metal.
  • If outside, seek a low-lying away from trees or other tall, structures.
  • When thunder roars, go indoors!

After a storm:

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio or television for information on conditions in your area,

During an emergency, stay tuned to your local radio or television station for more information.


Flooding is one of the most devastating and deadly natural disasters that occur in the Baltimore area.

Before a flood:

  • Make sure your flood insurance policy is up-to-date.
  • Check supplies in your 72-hour kit.
  • Keep your car fueled.
  • Purchase a weather alert radio.

During & After a flood:

  • Follow all emergency instructions given by local authorities regarding evacuation.
  • Never drive through standing water-“Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
  • Do not let children play in flood waters; it is polluted and dangerous.
  • If fresh food has come in contact with floodwater, throw it out.
  • Boil drinking water before using.
  • Test wells for contamination after a flood.

During an emergency, stay tuned to your local radio or television station for more information.

Pet Safety

Pets are important members of many Baltimore County households. Be sure to include your pets in your emergency plans.


  • If at all possible, take your pets with you.
  • Before you go to a hotel or shelter, make sure that they accept pets. If you cannot take your pets, develop a “buddy system” with neighbors to make sure that pets will be cared for, or arrange to board them with a friend, relative or professional outside of the affected area.

An emergency supply kit for your pet should include:

  • Three days of food or water.
  • A waterproof container in which to keep medications and medical records.
  • Extra collar, identification tag, leash, and emergency information.
  • Crate or pet carrier.
  • Sanitary supplies-newspapers, paper towels, plastic bags, litter box.
  • Photo of you with your pets (to aid with identification if you get separated).
  • Familiar items such as toys, bedding, treats, etc.

Or call 1.800.BE.READY

Take the time now to get yourself and your new pet ready!

During an emergency, stay tuned to your local radio or television station for more information