Your Kit / Your Plan

Be Ready: Follow The “Three Steps to Safety”

NJOEM works closely with our federal, state and local partners to prepare for virtually all hazards, natural or manmade, that could affect New Jersey's families, communities and businesses.

There are also things you can do to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the stress you may feel should an emergency arise.

For New Jersey residents, the basics of preparedness for virtually all hazards are the same. Following these steps and being ready NOW means you will be ready for virtually any disaster or crisis that may affect New Jersey.

Everyone should follow Steps One, Two and Three below. Steps Four, Five and Six will help bring your readiness to the next level. Get started NOW, BEFORE a disaster takes place!

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Items For Your Home:

  • Three days' supply of canned, non-perishable, ready-to-eat FOOD
  • Three days' supply of WATER (a total of three gallons per family member)
  • Battery-operated RADIO and extra batteries
  • FLASHLIGHT and extra batteries
  • One week's prescription MEDICATIONS
  • Personal TOILETRIES
  • Non-electric CAN OPENER and UTENSILS
  • SPECIAL NEEDS items:
    • INFANT care items
    • Items for ELDERLY family members
    • Items for relatives with DISABILITIES
  • Store important DOCUMENTS in a waterproof, safe location

In Case You Need To Evacuate:

  • Keep your vehicle's gas level at a minimum of half-a-tank.
  • Every family member must carry CONTACT INFORMATION:
    • All phone numbers at work, school, etc. for every family member
    • The name and number of a relative who lives out-of-state, to call in case your family gets separated.

These are the basics.

Does your community need emergency supply lists and disaster information in multiple languages? Visit the American Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library to assist in preparing your home, school and workplace in multiple languages.

You can also follow these additional tips on emergency food and water supplies.

Establish a predetermined meeting place away from your home. Having a pre-arranged place to meet can save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected or the area evacuated. This may even be the home of a friend or relative.

Choose an out-of-state contact your family members will call or email to check on each other, should a disaster occur. Make sure every family member has that person’s contact information.

Collect contact information for your family:

  • phone (work, cell, office)
  • email
  • social media
  • medical facilities, doctors, service providers
  • school
  • Complete a contact card for each family member. Everyone should keep these cards with them at all times.
  • Make sure all your family members know how to text. Make sure everyone knows how to turn on a cell phone, find the text messaging app, type a message, and send it to a contact.

Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster. For example, during a tornado, you would need to seek shelter in a lower level room without windows.

PRACTICE. Review these plans with all members of your family. Practice your disaster plans by running drills with the whole family.

Learn how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main shut-off locations.

Show each family member how to use a fire extinguisher, and show them where it's kept.

If you have Disabilities or other Special Needs:

If you Do Not Own a Car or Cannot Drive:

  • Ask your County OEM or local Police Department for details on the evacuation plans for transit-dependent individuals.
  • Make plans with a neighbor who does drive.

If you have Pets:

If you want to do more: Learn what it means when Public Safety Officials order you to:

Learn More

Visit the American Red Cross Make a Disaster Preparedness Plan web page for more information and in multiple languages.

It is important to know about the risks that may happen in your community, and to know whether an emergency is imminent or is already taking place.

Contact your local OEM or American Red Cross Chapter.

  • Ask which Types of Emergency are most likely in your area, and how to prepare for each.
  • Learn about the warning signals that will be used in your community.
  • Learn about the local radio and TV stations you should tune into for emergency alerts and official instructions.

Learn about the disaster plans for your Workplace, your children's School or Day Care Center, and Other Places where your family spends time.

Keep track of Current Weather Forecasts and Alerts with:

Visit our "Staying Informed" page for more information.


You and your family have now completed the steps for basic all-hazards preparedness. This should give you a level of confidence during emergencies - but never forget Step Three. Stay Informed by listening for emergency watches and warnings, or for instructions from public safety officials. By staying informed you remain a vital partner in your family's security.

New Jersey Citizen Corps members are ordinary residents who provide critical support to first responders and to their fellow residents during emergencies. Undergoing Citizen Corps training is a great way to feel empowered in the event of any emergency. To learn more, visit our CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) page or call 609-963-6995.

According to The American Red Cross, the internet - including online news sites and social media platforms - is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information and let their loved ones know they are safe.

Through the use of everyday technology, individuals, families, responders and organizations can successfully prepare for, adapt to and recover from disruptions brought on by emergencies and/or disasters. With effective planning, it is possible to take advantage of technology before, during and after a crisis to communicate with loved ones and manage your financial affairs.

Read more on the Ready.Gov Get Tech Ready web page.