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Emergency Preparedness

If a natural disaster or other emergency occurs, do you know what to do?

Be prepared at home.

  • Check your roof for loose shingles and possible weak spots.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand – and be sure that everyone in your home knows how to use them.
  • Know how to shut off water valves in your home.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Be sure to include a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies, medical documents and prescription medication.
  • Have a family communication plan, so that family members know how to contact each other and how to get back together in the event of an emergency.
  • Plan ahead for accessible transportation that you may need for evacuation or getting to a medical clinic.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets.

Be power smart.

  • Be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water, & medication to last for at least 72 hours.
  • Contact your water and power companies to get on a “priority reconnection service” list of power-dependent customers if you rely on electrical medical equipment.
  • Be sure all cell phones are charged, with an emergency charging option in case of a power failure.
  • Only use portable generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system. If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area.
  • Keep portable heat sources, such as space heaters, at least three feet away from curtains and drapes.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage opener is and how to use it, in case you lose power.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
  • If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or to an open window or door.

Don’t forget your pets.

  • Include your pets in your emergency plan. View this short video for tips.
  • Build a separate emergency kit for your pet, which should include vaccination records, food and supplies, and a photo of your pet in case you are separated.
    Not all shelters accept pets, so plan for alternatives. Find out which hotels in your area are pet friendly.

Remember to check on neighbors and the elderly.

  • Know how you'll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that's familiar and easy to find. Read more to Make a Plan.
  • Learn Life Saving skills (CPR, First AID) by signing up at Red Cross Training & Certification.

Are you covered?

  • Do you have flood insurance? Does your insurance cover natural disasters? Check Your Insurance policies and update accordingly. For more on the national flood insurance program, visit FEMA's Flood Insurance Program website.
  • Save for an emergency; maintain an emergency savings account. Read more about Financial Preparedness.
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

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