First 72 Hours in a disaster – Home Preparations


Taking the aforementioned into consideration, the Department of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM) would like to advise the general public to do the following :

Know the Risks

We face a number of natural or man-made hazards, which can vary from region. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared.
During an emergency
The following steps should be taken in emergency situations:
• Make sure you are safe before assisting others.
• Follow your emergency plan.
• Get your emergency kit.
• Monitor radio, television and online for information from authorities. Follow their instructions.
• Stay put until it is safe or you are ordered to evacuate.
• Limit phone calls to urgent messages only. Keep the lines free for emergency responders.

Make a plan

Every household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do in an emergency. Make a plan part of your emergency kit.

The following are things to consider when making your plan:
• Have a family emergency plan.
• Map your evacuation routes.
• Have a contingency plan.
• Know your emergency contact numbers.
• Know your emergency shelter locations.

Prepare a Disaster Kit beforehand. This should include the following:

Food: Maintain enough nonperishable food for each person for at least 72 hours.
Water: Store enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably for one week. Store in airtight containers and replace it every six months. Store disinfectants such as iodine tablets or chlorine bleach, eight drops per gallon, to purify water if necessary.
First aid kit: Make sure it is well stocked, especially with bandages and disinfectants.
Fire extinguisher: Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires. Teach all family members how to use it.
Flashlights with extra batteries: Keep flashlights beside your bed and in several other locations. Do not use matches or candles until you are certain there are no gas leaks.
Radios: Store radio with battery backup, portable radio or portable television with extra batteries: Telephones may be out of order or limited to emergency use. A radio, portable radio or portable television may be your best source of information.
Miscellaneous items: Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money. Wear sturdy shoes just in case you need to walk through rubble and debris.
Alternative cooking sources: Store a barbecue or camping stove for outdoor camping.
Caution: Ensure there are no gas leaks before you use any kind of fire as a cooking source and never use charcoal indoors. Gasoline-powered appliances should be filled away from ignition sources.
Special items: Have at least 72 hours of medications and food for infants and those with special needs. Don’t forget diapers.
Tools: Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off gas and water, and a shovel or broom for cleaning up.
Pets: Assemble an animal emergency supply kit and develop a pet care buddy system with friends or relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be sure each of your pets has a tag with your name and phone number. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to plan for your pets.
• Pay attention to directions from emergency managers, police and others and obey instructions in the event of an evacuation.
Source : FEMA (2007)


Dourandish, R., Zumel, N., & Manno, M. (2007). Command and Control During the First 72 Hours of a Joint. Command and Control Research & Technology Symposium. Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2007, March 30). Disaster Planning Is Up To You. Retrieved 07 03, 2015, from FEMA:
Ministry of National Security. (2013). National Response Framework. Retrieved 07 03, 2015, from Office of Disaster Prepardness and Management:

Leave a Reply

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