Items to include in a disaster preparedness checklist.

A person creates a disaster preparedness checklist

Learn more about what you should include in a disaster planning checklist to prepare yourself or your household for an emergency.

Get peace of mind by equipping yourself with a thorough disaster preparedness checklist. Why should you make this a priority? From wildfires and droughts to floods and hurricanes, natural disasters can strike with little or no notice — which is why the best time to prepare for an emergency is before one happens. When you take the time to create an emergency kit, it’s one of the biggest steps you can take to stay safe. Let’s explore some recommended items to include in your disaster preparedness checklist.

What is a disaster plan checklist?

A disaster plan checklist is a comprehensive and organized list of essential items and actions to be included in a disaster preparedness strategy. It serves as a guide for individuals, families, or organizations to ensure they are adequately prepared to face various types of emergencies or natural disasters. A well-structured checklist covers a wide range of aspects, including emergency communication plans, evacuation routes, essential supplies, medical needs, important documents, and contact information.

By following a disaster plan checklist, individuals and communities can proactively address potential risks and enhance their readiness to cope with unexpected events, minimizing the impact and ensuring the safety and well-being of themselves and others.

Items to include in a checklist for disaster preparedness.

A good emergency kit has things you need to navigate a disaster, whether that means staying at home or evacuating your area. You may find that the easiest way to manage yours is with a digital checklist that you can access online and regularly update as needed — such as for food expiration dates or other items. Here are some commonly recommended items to have on hand and listed on your PDF:

  1. Water (one gallon per person per day)
  2. Non-perishable food items (minimum of three-day supply)
  3. Flashlight and battery-operated radio
  4. Cell phone with charger and backup battery
  5. Emergency blanket
  6. First aid kit and medications
  7. Plastic sheeting and duct tape (for sheltering in place, if necessary)
  8. Extra batteries and multi-purpose tool
  9. Whistle (to signal for help)
  10. Extra cash

Including the necessary items in a disaster plan checklist is crucial. Also, make note of the disaster relief application process, especially when seeking assistance from organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Don’t forget an emergency document checklist.

In addition to gathering essential supplies and provisions, it’s crucial to remember an emergency document checklist as part of your disaster preparedness plan. These documents serve as vital records that can help you navigate through the aftermath of a disaster, ensuring your identity, legal status, and access to necessary services are preserved. Creating a checklist for these documents and keeping them readily accessible is essential for a well-rounded disaster preparedness strategy.

Here are some commonly recommended personal documents to include:

Remember to store these documents in a waterproof, portable container and keep both physical and digital copies if possible.

Disaster plan checklist vs. disaster recovery planning checklist.

It’s important to understand the distinction between a disaster plan checklist and a disaster recovery planning checklist, as they serve different purposes in the context of disaster management. A disaster plan checklist is designed to prepare individuals, families, or organizations for potential disasters by outlining preventive measures, preparedness actions, and essential supplies. It serves as a proactive guide to minimize risks, enhance safety, and ensure readiness before a disaster strikes.

On the other hand, a disaster recovery planning checklist is focused on post-disaster actions. It helps guide the recovery and rebuilding process after the occurrence of a disaster, aiming to restore normalcy, rebuild infrastructure, and assist affected individuals or communities in recovering from the impacts.

While a disaster plan checklist emphasizes preparedness and prevention, a disaster recovery planning checklist addresses the steps to be taken in the aftermath of a disaster to facilitate effective recovery and restoration efforts. Both checklists are vital components of comprehensive disaster management, with each serving a distinct role in different phases of the disaster lifecycle.

Create a disaster checklist PDF for safekeeping.

Once you’ve completed your checklist, you can take it a step further by converting it into a PDF format, which provides several advantages. Using a PDF converter, you can transform your checklist into a digital document that is not only compact but also compatible with various devices and platforms. This digital format allows for easy storage, sharing, and printing of your checklist, ensuring that it remains intact and readily available for both individual reference and distribution among household members.

In addition to having these physical items on hand, it’s important to recognize the value of digital documentation when it comes to safeguarding your essential documents. While having physical copies is important, they can be vulnerable to damage or loss in the event of a disaster. It’s highly recommended to create a disaster recovery planning checklist specifically for your essential documents. This involves converting copies of your paper documents into digital files, enabling you to access them conveniently during or after an emergency.

By digitizing personal identification, passports, birth certificates, medical information, and other critical documents, you can ensure their preservation and easy retrieval when needed most. Utilize a scanner or smartphone app to capture clear images or PDFs of your important documents and securely store them on encrypted storage devices, cloud platforms, or password-protected folders for added peace of mind.

Take a moment to explore everything you can do with Adobe Acrobat to keep your most important documents safe and more in the event of a disaster.