|Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)|
1. Do I have to register to use this site?
No. Registration is not required to take advantage of the resources provided through this program.
2. Why am I not able to see some of the forms I want to print?
Some printable forms prepared for this site are in the PDF format. In order to view and print these forms, you’ll need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. You can download this free program here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
3. What if I don’t have the information for my emergency contacts/meeting places?
You can always save the details you do know and come back later to update the missing information once you have it.
4. My family lives in a remote area. We don’t live in a neighborhood and can’t easily reach a meeting place like a store or a restaurant. Where should we go?
A meeting place can be any place that your family is familiar with and has easy access to. It could be a large tree, a local playground, even a roadway intersection. When choosing your meeting place, make a decision that best meets the location and needs of your family.
5. I don’t have children, but my plan will include the children of relatives. Should I plan for them as well?
Yes. Always consider the needs of everyone who will be covered by your plan. If you’ll be responsible for young children or infants, make certain you include the Baby Care items from the Essentials section.
6. The list of items in Pet Needs appears to focus on dogs and cats. What should I do if I have another kind of animal?
If your family has pets that include reptiles, fish, birds, or other types of pets, you’ll need to make some small modifications to your plans. Use the list in our Essentials section as a starting point, and include items that are specific to your type of pet.
7. I live on a fixed income and don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on preparedness supplies. What should I do?
Preparing your family for a disaster situation doesn’t have to break your bank account. By making smart decisions about your purchases and creating a schedule of what items will be purchased when, you can fulfill your emergency supply needs. Remember, you don’t need high-priced, high-tech gadgets to prepare your family, when their lower-cost counterparts will do the same job. And you may already have some of the recommended supplies on hand.
8. My family doesn’t have a car. What should we do during an evacuation?
Whether for financial reasons or just because the need isn’t there, many families don’t own private transportation. When creating your disaster readiness plan, you need to consider other options for relocating to a safe place. First, if you are in an evacuation zone in Texas, call 2-1-1 to be listed for evacuation needs. Otherwise, do you have relatives who can pick you up? Do you have friends who can take you with them? Does your community have evacuation plans in place for those requiring transportation? Once you know what your options are, you can better prepare for the possibility of an evacuation.
9. There are a lot of items you suggest be included in my Grab-And-Go Kit. Do I really need all of that information?
The items listed for your Grab-And-Got Kit are recommended to help you rebuild your life in the event a disaster occurs. While the decision of what you include is entirely up to you, we recommend that you make every attempt to include the documents and files we’ve listed. It’s always better to spend the time to find something now, than worry about not having it in the future.
10. Some of the items in your evacuation check list don’t make any sense to me. Why do I need games, food, and paper products? And won’t there be water where I’m going?
As rapidly as an evacuation happens, your actual departure from a disaster area might become slowed by impassable roads, emergency detours, and heavy traffic. You might spend more time in your car than you’re prepared for. Having these items stored in your vehicle helps you to create a mobile shelter. As with our other lists, these are recommended items. You can always bring more than we have listed here, but we never recommend that you bring less.
11. We have a big family. I’m not so sure we’ll all fit into our primary vehicle if we have to evacuate. What do you recommend?
Practicing your plan is so important we’ve given it its own section. And when you’re practicing your plan, you need to pretend that a real emergency has taken place. Will everyone and everything fit into your car? How long did it take you to pack the vehicle? Was everyone comfortable? Was there room for the pet cages?
We recommend that you practice packing your primary evacuation vehicle more than once. You need to know ahead of time if one vehicle is enough. You need to think about what to do if you have to split your family between two vehicles.
12. I keep hearing about problems with running a generator indoors. Why is it a bad idea?
Gas-operated generators that produce a small amount of power for your home release harmful carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, making it nearly impossible to detect. When enough of this toxic gas is inhaled, carbon monoxide poisoning occurs. For the safety of your family, never operate a generator within a confined space, such as your home.