Planning and Preparedness

Being Prepared in an Emergency

The Division of Emergency Management is dedicated to ensuring the safety and readiness of all citizens of Montgomery County. There are four key steps that you can take to prepare yourself and your family in the event of an emergency:

  1. Stay informed before and during emergencies.
  2. Make a family emergency plan.
  3. Build an emergency supply kit.
  4. Get involved in your community.

1. Stay Informed

The first step to preparedness is being informed. Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate.

Montgomery County is subject to a variety of natural and human-caused hazards, including flooding, winter storms, transportation crashes, utility interruptions, extreme temperatures, radiological releases, dam failures, severe storms (lightning/wind), radon exposure, drought, tropical storms, hazardous material releases, and tornadoes. Information on weather-related hazards can be found on our Severe Weather Resources page. Information on other hazards can be found at

In addition, staying informed involves making sure you've got all the correct information about the emergency or disaster, especially if it's local and affecting Montgomery County. The best way to do that is to sign up for our notification system, ReadyMontco.

Finally, it's important to know where you would go if you need to leave your home, work, or school due to an emergency. For more information on evacuation, click here.

2. Make a Plan

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.  Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation route?
  • What is my family/household communication plan?

Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance.  Keep in mind some of these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

3.  Build a kit

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

For more information on building an emergency supply kit, click here.

4. Get Involved

Get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies. For more information on volunteer opportunities, click here.