Preparing for an Emergency


Last year’s flood caught many of us unprepared. Now that we’ve lived through this kind of natural disaster, we won’t be unprepared again. It’s a good time to create a household emergency plan so that you have all the supplies and communication tools needed if another emergency happens. I’ve heard several neighbors discuss plans to install generators and keep reserves of water on hand. Here are some ideas posted on the Larimer County website to help us remember what we should have ready in case of emergency. This is list is a start. If you have additional ideas, please share them in the comment section below.

One of the most important steps you can take in preparing for an emergency is to develop a household disaster plan. At its most basic level, being prepared means having a solid plan and access to the resources necessary to execute that plan. It’s also about peace of mind.  Because when communities, families, and individuals are prepared, the fear, anxiety and loss that accompany a disaster are greatly reduced. Here are some links to help with specific emergency plans:

Family Communications Plan

This checklist provides information to help your family plan for the fact that they may not be together when disaster strikes. The Family Communications Plan helps you to detail how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different emergency situations. This checklist has important information about each family member (such as Social Security Numbers and important medical information). Communications Cards can be completed and carried by each family member so that they have easy access to important contact information, wherever they may be.

Household Plan

This checklist will help you to learn about community-specific risk information, a household evacuation plan, and how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity. In addition, this plan will help you to identify important documents that should be in your disaster preparedness kit, such insurance policies for home, life, and health. The website has some great printable pdf’s with plans to help you create your checklists. See the links below to access these plans…

You can open a pdf version of the emergency kits below to complete your own emergency kit, save it on your local device and print it!

Gather emergency supplies to shelter in place at your home or to evacuate as needed. Plan to be on your own for 72 hours or more. Here is a basic list to get started:

  • Battery-powered weather radio
  • Two flashlights with extra batteries
  • Gasoline for generator (if applicable)
  • Extra blankets, clothing and rain gear
  • Non-perishable food
  • Essential medications and hygiene items
  • First Aid Kit
  • Important papers
  • Manual can opener
  • Water (1 gallon / person / day)
  • Water purification tablet
  • Food
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic utensils
  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Pet needs (food, water, medications)
  • Cell phone and charger

Stay Informed

Know what’s going on in your area! To best stay informed before, during and after a disaster, you are encouraged to monitor a number of information sources.

  • Sign up for emergency alerts. You can do this by going to
  • Visit local emergency services websites
  • Watch the local news
  • Visit, developed and maintained by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, for a list of local emergency management websites, emails and sms/txt alert systems in Colorado. In participating counties, you can follow the “alerts” link next to each of the identified counties to register for and begin receiving emergency alerts in that area. Check for non-emergency contact information as well.


Emergency Information Updates

Larimer County has a website dedicated to notifying community members about ongoing emergency situations in the county. The Sheriff’s Office maintains a website, as well as the emergency hotline at (970) 498-5500. The website and phone number do not replace the 911 emergency notification system that will notify community members of impending threats and hazards. The website is intended to offer assistance in preparedness, situational awareness and planning. To sign up for notifications through this site, go to:, and you will see a “Subscription Services” button. Pressing this will take you to a menu of potential mailings. Choose “Emergency Information Updates” to sign up. From that point forward, you will receive a notification any time new information is posted to the site. If you do not wish to subscribe, you may still visit the website at any time to get updated information.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.