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Being Prepared
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  • Crisis Plan
  • Crisis Communication Plan
  • 3-Day Kit
  • Mail Safety
  • Suspicious Activity
  • Pet Preparedness
  • Shelter-in-Place
  • Evacuation

Crisis Plan

The following are the main steps you need to complete when implementing a disaster plan for your family.

  • Learn about the possible dangers and become familiar with the disaster response plan for your community.
  • Talk with your family about what to do in the event of a crisis. Pick two locations where you will meet. One should be right outside your home and the other should be removed from your neighborhood. This one will be used if you are unable to return to your residence.
  • Develop a crisis communication plan to ensure you will be able to stay in contact if you are separated during a crisis.
  • Assemble 3-day kits for your home, office and car.
  • Practice your plan.

Create a crisis communication plan

One of the most critical parts of your family disaster plan is the crisis communication plan. This plan will outline how you and your loved ones will contact each other if you are separated during a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Begin by choosing a friend or family member who will act as your contact person. You may wantot o designate someone who is outside your locall calling area, as they will probably not be affected by the same situation you are dealing with. Once you have chosen your contact, record all of their information and distribute it to your family. This should include their name, address, phone and cell phone numbers, and e-mail. Make sure each person carries this information with them at all times.

In a crisis, each family member needs to call the contact person and report their location. Once everyone is accounted for and instructions have been received from first responders, you can determine whether or not it is safe to try and reunite. If it is possible for you to meet without anyone being placed in jeopardy, use your contact to help coordinate the details, such as where and when the meeting will take place.

Create a 3-day kit

Another important facet of the crisis plan for your family is a survival kit. In the event of an emergency, you will want to be armed with all the necessary provisions, With the right supplies, you will be able to react quickly and efficiently and will be better able to care for your family.

You will want to keep your disaster survival kit packed and in an easily accessible location. You may choose to make several kits: one to be used at home, a smaller kit if you need to evacuate from your home, one for your office, and one for your car.

Kits should be stored in a durable, easy to handle, container, such as a garbage can, duffle bag or plastic storage bin.

To begin, assemble enough food and water for each family member for approximately three days. Food should be canned goods and items that do not require cooking. Each person should have a gallon of water a day, which can be used for drinking as well as sanitation.

Once you have all the staples you need, you can then begin to add a few items to make you and your family more comfortable. You might want to consider adding books, a deck of cards, or a few games. These additions to your kit will be helpful, especially if you have small children.

3-day kit Checklist

Your 3-day kit should contain the following items: (This list is not all-inclusive.)

  • Water and food to maintain your family for three days,
  • Utensils, plates, cups and a can opener,
  • Clothes (be sure to pack items to keep you warm if you have to go without heat and items that will cover your arms and legs in case you need to evacuate.)
  • Rain gear
  • Durable shoes with thick soles,
  • Sleeping bags or blankets,
  • Cash and/or travelers checks (include change in case you need to use a pay phone.)
  • Financial plan and documents,
  • Personal hygiene items including:
    • toilet paper
    • toothbrushes and toothpast
    • feminine hygiene products
    • a plastic bucket with a lid
    • plastic bags for sanitation
    • bleach or a similar disinfectant
    • soap
    • pre-moistened towelettes
    • Diapers
  • Garbage bags
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape for doors and windows
  • Copies of important documents (you will want to keep these in a water-tight container inside your kit.)
    • driver's license
    • social security card
    • will
    • passport
    • banking information
    • birth certificates
    • insurance policies
  • Scissors and/or a knife
  • Maps of local area and the addresses of the closest shelters
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Additional tools such as pliers, flares and wrenches
  • Papers, pens and pencils
  • Flashlights
  • A battery or crank operated radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit

Remember, you will want to be sure your kit has an adequate supply of any prescription medications and extra contact lenses or glasses for those who wear them.

Keeping mail safe

In the tulmultuous times in which we live, a terrorist threat can take many forms. In recent years, the possibility of a biological threat being introduced through the mail has become a reality.

Terrorists can attempt to use letters or packages to spread infectious materials, which are introduced to the body through contact with the skin and/or inhalation. Yet, homes and businesses are not defenseless agains this threat; by taking some time to familiarize yourself with a few simple guidelines about how to recognize and deal with suspicious packages and letters you can significantly reduce your vulnerability to these possible attacks.

Warning signs of suspicious letters:

  • No return address;
  • Restrictive markings, such as personal or private;
  • Sealed with tape;
  • Misspelled words/awkward or improper use of language;
  • Addressed to title only with no name; such as Chief Executive Officer;
  • Incorrect title; or
  • Poorly typed or written.

Warning signs of suspicious packages:

  • Oily stains, discoloration, or crystallization visible on wrapper;
  • Strange odor;
  • Excessive taping;
  • Rigid or bulky; or
  • Lopsided or uneven.

If you receive a suspicious letter or package:

  • Handle with care - don't shake or bump;
  • Isolate the package/letter immediately;
  • Do not open, smell, touch or taste.
  • Treat it as suspect - Call local law enforcement authorities immediately.

Suspicious activity

You can help to prevent terrorist attacks by reporting certain activities, especially when these activities occur at or near key facilities such as government, military, utility, or other high profile sites. Suspicious activities should be reported to your law enforcement agency or the closest Federal Bureau of Investigation office.

Activities to watch for. . .

Anyone recording or monitoring activities, taking notes, using cameras, maps, binoculars, etc., near a key facility.

Suspicious questioning
Anyone attempting to gain information in person, by phone, mail, e-mail, etc., regarding a key facility or its personnel.

Test of security
Any attempts to penetrate or test physical security or procedures at a key facility.

Suspicious persons
Anyone who does not appear to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment or near a key facility.

Acquiring supplies
Anyone attempting to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, uniforms, badges, flight manuals, access cards or identification for a key facility or to legally obtain items under suspicious circumstances to use in a terrorist attack.

Mapping of scenarios
Any behavior that appears to be preparation for terrorist activitiy, such as mapping out routes, playing out scenarios, monitoring key facilities, timing traffic lights or traffic flow, or other suspicious activities.

Deploying assets
Abandoned vehicles, stockpiling of suspicious materials, or persons being deployed near a key facility.

What should you do?
If you observe suspicious activity that may relate to terrorism, contact your closest law enforcement agency or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office as soon as possible.

Local FBI contact numbers

Cheyenne - 307-632-6224
Casper - 307-237-3451
Jackson - 307-734-7356
Lander - 307-335-7559

Joint Terrorism Task Force

Denver - 303-628-3000

Pet Preparedness

General Tips

  • The best survival technique is to prepare a disaster plan ahead of time. If you are a pet owner, this plan must include your pets.
  • In the event of a disaster that requires your family to evacuate your home, whether for a day or a week, the best way to protect your pets is to evacuate them too.
  • Pet-Owners should be aware that public shelters for people cannot accept pets due to health and safety regulations with the exception of service animals who assist people with disabilities.
So, the first thing you should do is identify pet-friendly shelters. Make a list, including phone numbers.

Some suggestions:

  • Your local county coordinator can tell you if the local jurisdiction has any plans already in place for sheltering pets or domesticated animals.
  • Animal shelters
  • Veterinarians and Pet Clinics
  • Professional Boarding Kennels
  • Pet-friendly motels
  • Friends and relatives outside the affected area

Next, assemble a portable pet disaster supplies kit. Your pets have daily needs just like we do.
Keep these essential items in a portable container in an accessible place.

Your kit should include:

  • Food, water and treats
  • Food/water dish
  • Leashes, harnesses and/or carriers
  • Medications and medical records
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost
  • Toys
  • Pet-friendly list of shelters

Other considerations

  • You may not be at home when an evacuation is ordered, so arrange for a neighbor to take your pets to a pre-arranged location. This person must be comfortable with your pets, know where the pet disaster supplies kit is located and have a key to your home. A pet-sitting service may be able to assist.
  • Make sure each of your pets wears a collar with accurate identification tags at all times.
  • Keep all of your pets current on their vaccinations.
  • Snakes can be transported in a pillowcase, but must be transferred to more secure housing soon.
  • Birds, house lizards and small mammals should be transported in a cage or carrier. Depending on weather, include a blanket or plant mister in your kit.
  • If you must evacuate, do not leave your animals behind. If possible, find a shelter location that allows your pet to remain with you.


Known as taking shelter-in-place, you will want to have a safe environment in your home where you can go when you find yourself in immediate danger. An effective shelter is important if the air around you becomes contaminated with a dangerous agent, such as a chemical or biological attack, or a hazardous materials spill or accident.

To create a shelter, choose a room as far removed from the outside air as possible. You will benefit from choosing a room that has few, if any, windows and a limited number of doors.

Once your shelter location is chosen, make it known to each family member and stock it with as many supplies as possible, including plastic sheeting and duct tape that can be used to seal the room. If you are unable to keep your 3-day kit in your designated shelter, place it in a nearby location that can be quickly accessed.

Check your shelter for places where contaminated aire could seep through. These include fireplaces, forced air heating systems and dryer vents. Make sure each family member knows how to restrict airflow from these locations.

If you are being evacuated

Red Cross Safe and Well Program helps you communicate following a disaster.

After a disaster, letting your family and friends know that you are safe and well can bring your loved ones great peace of mind. This website is designed to help make that communication easier.  

If you are in a position where you need to evacuate your home, the first thing you will want to do is locate your 3-day kit. If you can safely use the phone, call your crisis contact and inform them of your need to evacuate and tell them where you plan to go.

During an evacuation, authorities will instruct you as to whether or not you should leave your utilities on or turn them off. Keep in mind, however, that these steps should only be followed if you are not in imminent danger. If first responders tell you to vacate your home immediately, do so.

Once you have assembled your supplies and take the necessary precautions, remember to lock your doors and windows. Before leaving your home, make sure you have the most up-to-date information on where you should go, taking into consideration that you will want to remove yourself as far as possible from danger. The emergency broadcast system will update you with any changes to the location of shelters.

During an evacuation, be sure to follow routes designated by first responders. They will steer you clear of any danger, such as impassable roads or downed power lines.

There are many preparations you can make now to help in the event you need to evacuate your home. You should always keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle and have a supply of cash or travelers checks on hand as ATM machines may or may not be working.