Health Department Urges Community To Be Prepared

Health Department Urges This Community To Be Prepared

MEMPHIS, TN - During National Preparedness Month in September, the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the American Red Cross and the National Preparedness Month Coalition urge all Americans to take some simple steps to become better prepared for emergencies including:

Get a Kit - Get a kit of emergency supplies that will allow you and your family to survive for at least three days in the event an emergency happens. The kit should include “special need” items for any member of your household (infant formula or items for people with disabilities or older people), a first aid kit (including prescription medications) and basic items like water, food, battery powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.  It is also a good idea to include some cash and copies of important family documents (birth certificates, passports and licenses) in your kit.


·         One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.

·         Children, nursing mothers, and sick people may need more water.

·         If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary.

·         Store water tightly in clean plastic containers such as soft drink bottles.

·         Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.


·         Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.

·         Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.

·         Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.

·         Choose foods your family will eat.

o        Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables

o        Protein or fruit bars

o        Dry cereal or granola

o        Peanut butter

o        Dried fruit

o        Nuts

o        Crackers

o        Canned juices

o        Non-perishable pasteurized milk

o        High energy foods

o        Vitamins

o        Food for infants

o        Comfort/stress foods

Make a Plan -

Plan in advance what you and your family will do in an emergency. Your plan should include a communications plan and address sheltering-in-place and evacuation. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another, depending upon the situation decide what you will do in each situation. Go to and for more information and templates to help get you started.

Be Informed - Learn more about different threats that could affect your community and appropriate responses to them.  Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornados are no longer the only concerns, now everyone must be prepared for man-made disasters as well as the natural ones.  Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and seconds can make the difference. Go to and for more information about natural disasters and potential terrorist threats including biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological emergencies.

Get Involved - After preparing yourself and your family for possible emergencies, take the next step: get training in first aid and emergency response and get involved in preparing your community. The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department’s “Public Health Reserve Corps” provides residents with opportunities to prepare, train and support local emergency responders. The comprehensive emergency preparedness plan of the Health Department has been designed to be flexible to meet any public health threat or disease outbreak both natural and man-made.  The plan calls for the operation of 20 clinics located throughout the county, each operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 10 successive days.  Staffing of these clinics will require at least 10,000 volunteers to man the clinics for the entire time.  Your help is needed.

If you are interested in volunteering, you may register online at or the Shelby County website at, or by calling the Health Department’s Emergency Response Office at (901) 544-6845 during normal business hours.

Presentations regarding how to get prepared in the event of a disaster or about the volunteer program are available upon request by calling the Emergency Response Office at (901) 544-6880 during normal business hours.