Prepare - Get Ready for Disaster

Getting Ready Before Disaster Strikes

Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as making an emergency supply kit and developing a family communications plan, are the same for both a natural or man-made emergency.

However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take.   It’s also important to know what kinds of threats could occur in the Garland and North Central Texas area. Explore the Know Your Hazards links to learn more about these threats and how to respond to them. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared.

Use the links below to learn more information about how to get started preparing you and your family for disaster.  Making your plan and building your kit are the most important steps to getting prepared. 

  • Make a Plan (Draft a Family Emergency Plan, Emergency Plans for School and Work)
  • Build a Kit (Family Emergency Supply Kit, Vehicle Emergency Supply Kit and First Aid Kit)

Special Considerations 

Important Numbers

  • Dial 911-for Emergency help
  • Dial 211-Social Service Information Line.  In Texas, 211 is the official state-wide information line for general public to get updates in an emergency. Translation services are also available. 

Practice! Practice! Practice!

You know the old saying, “Practice makes perfect”?  Well, it’s true.

  • Once you have sat down with your family in order to create your disaster plan, the next step is to practice it. Practicing your plan and will help you respond appropriately and quickly during an actual emergency.
  • Discuss what types of disaster may occur and how to react.
  • Review your Family Disaster Plan and your Disaster Supplies Kit at least every six months.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills at least twice a year.
  • At home, practice escaping from various rooms, particularly bedrooms, and meeting at the place you have selected right outside your home.
  • Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do. Do they know how to call 911?
  • Discuss as a family what types of disasters may occur and how to react.
  • Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test your smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries at least once a year.
  • Mark your evacuation routes on a map and keep the map in your Disaster Supplies Kit.
  • Include your pets in your evacuation and sheltering drills. Practice evacuating your pets so they will get used to entering and traveling calmly in their carriers.
  • Practice bringing your pets indoors, into your safe room, so that if you are required to shelter-in-place, they will be comfortable.