Once you are aware of the types of emergencies and disasters that could happen in our area, you are ready to get prepared. Achieving a basic level of preparedness is easy to do and can make the difference between getting hurt and staying safe.

To be safe, plan on protecting yourselves for up to 72 hours. To get started:

Download booklet in English, Spanish, Polish, Arabic or Simplified Chinese.

Build an emergency supply kit

Build an emergency supply kit for your home, office and car in case something happens and you need to shelter-in-place. There is a shopping list with items you can check off as you gather them from around your home or from the store.

Make a family communications plan

Make a family communications plan to help locate and identify each family member during an emergency. There is a family communications plan form In our booklet, Information to Help Individuals and Families Prepare for an Emergency, for you to write in an out-of-state emergency contact, as well as the contact and medical information of each family member. Make copies and give to each family member, including out-of-state contact, and your child(ren)’s school.

Practice healthy habits

Practice healthy habits to prevent the spread of diseases at home, work and school. Healthy habits include getting proper nutrition, rest and physical activity, as well as germ prevention, like covering coughs and sneezes and washing hands properly.

Decide Where to take Shelter

Decide where to shelter-in-place during a lightning storm or tornado. Put an emergency supply kit in that location.

Plan where to meet if separated

Discuss where to meet if separated. Plan to meet inside the home if it is safe. Otherwise, plan to meet outside at a tree, mailbox or on the corner. Decide ahead of time who will be responsible for getting young children and pets out of the home. If your home and the community are not safe, plan to meet somewhere else like a family member or a friend’s home. Make sure everyone knows.

Get more info

Visit any of the following websites for more information about how to prepare for an emergency:

Healthy HotSpots that promote a Prepared Cook County

Medical Reserve Corps

Discover these Healthy HotSpots near you

Find these Healthy HotSpots and others on the map.

Go to the Healthy HotSpot Map

Learn the ways healthy HotSpots support
our health and well-being

Healthy HotSpots help us to eat better, move more, live tobacco-free, and respond to emergencies.