Prepare Now for Emergencies

Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. The Rappahannock Area Health District encourages all residents to develop a emergency plan that addresses the home, school and workplace. You should also maintain a Disaster Supply Kit for your home and your vehicle. In a major emergency, it may take a while for first responders and disaster response organizations to provide assistance to you and your family.

Follow these three easy steps to help ensure that you and your family are ready for an emergency.

Step 1: Get a Kit


You should have enough supplies in your kit for everyone in your family, as well as your pets, to last a minimum of three days.

When putting your kit together, be sure to include special items geared towards the people in your household. The needs of children, older adults, and individuals with special needs should be addressed. Please visit our At-Risk Individuals page for additional information.

Some suggested items to include in your kit include:

  • Water – One gallon per person, per day. Don’t forget that your pets will need water, too!
  • Food –  The items you include should require minimal water and no refrigeration, preparation or cooking. Remember to include special dietary requirements of individuals in your household and a can opener.
  • First aid and medical supplies to include prescription and non-prescription medications and medical supplies or equipment that you may use.
  • Vital records and financial documents
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Clothing and bedding
  • Survival tools and equipment to include a battery-powered radio and flashlight, extra batteries, cell phone chargers and a road map.

For a more complete list of what to include in your Disaster Supply Kit, check out our Disaster Supply Kit Checklist (en Español) or download the Get a Kit worksheet from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Step 2: Make a Plan


Emergencies and disasters can strike at anytime and anywhere. They can happen quickly and without warning, and they can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or require you to shelter-in-place. When developing your Emergency Plan it is important to discuss the types of threats and hazards that could affect our area. It is also vital that you understand each person’s needs and abilities.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management provides useful information on their website to assist you in developing your plan.

Step 3: Stay Informed


Before, during and after a disaster, it is important that you are able to stay up-to-date with the latest information. Emergency officials may provide information on weather watches and warnings, evacuation orders, details about evacuation routes, locations of emergency shelters, how to safely stay where you are, where to find assistance, and other important safety and health information.

Local media will convey instructions from government officials in the event of an emergency. A NOAA Weather Radio is recommended so that you are able to receive weather warnings directly from the National Weather Service. A NOAA Weather Radio is also available for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, giving them around-the-clock, up-to-the-minute weather information.  Sign up to receive emergency messages from your local government. .

Click here to visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website for additional information on staying informed, including a worksheet to help you prepare and tips for reaching family, friends and emergency services after an emergency.