Preparedness & You

Your Role

Preparedness is the key to saving lives in an emergency. Even the smallest amount of preparation can make a huge difference. Being prepared has three steps: Being Informed, Making a Plan, and Making a Disaster Supply Kit.



1.        Be sure your house address clearly visible from the street.

2.        Post emergency numbers near every telephone.

3.        Know how and when to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.

4.        Be sure all family members know the location of the first aid kit.

5.        Be sure working flashlights are located on every level of the house.

6.        Be sure smoke detectors are installed throughout the house and batteries are changed two times a year.

7.        Keep health insurance and family's medical needs information readily available.

8.        Identify at least two escape routes and an outside meeting place.

9.        Practice the plan!


Build a Basic Emergency Preparedness Kit on a Budget:

Watch a YouTube video on how to build an emergency preparedness kit:

1. Make a Disaster Supply Kit

The ZMCHD recommends you have an Emergency Supply Kit: An emergency may interfere with normal supplies of food, water, heat, and other necessities. Keep a stock of emergency supplies on hand that will last for at least 3 days.


Update your kit regularly.

Contents of an Emergency Supply Kit can be found at:


When an emergency strikes, you may not have time to gather all the necessary supplies. Making an emergency kit ahead of time can make all the difference. An emergency supply kit should include items to help you survive an emergency for several days. Things you take for granted every day may become extremely valuable to you during a crisis.

2. Make a Plan


There are well-developed and well-rehearsed emergency response plans at all levels of government. At the core of this effort is citizen preparedness. You and your family can plan, prepare, practice, and protect each other.


If a disaster strikes, relief workers may not be able to reach everyone immediately. You might be asked to evacuate your home or may need to "shelter-in-place." It is important that you and your family know what to do during different types of emergencies. By planning and practicing, you and your family will be more prepared if an emergency occurs. Planning Guides and additional information are at:


Once you are informed about the potential emergencies in Muskingum County, your next step is to make a plan to deal with each emergency. Remember that it is not necessary to make one plan for each kind of emergency. One or two well thought out plans can generally be effective during any situation.


Remember communications. During a crisis, you will want to know where your loved ones are, and if they are safe. Be sure to include several ways to contact the people who are important to you. An out of town family contact may be helpful if the utilities in your area are damaged.

Members of your household may have specific planning considerations such as:

1.        A chronic medical condition that requires prescriptions? Be Proactive! Take a moment now and talk with your medical provider about having an extra supply stored at home.

2.        A medical condition that requires medical equipment that needs electricity to operate?

3.        Have you planned to provide for any medical conditions that requires treatment appointments outside of the home? Take a moment now and talk with your medical equipment supplier to learn of the backup power sources you may require such as batteries, generator, etc.

4.        How about in-home care? Do you or a household member or neighbor require home health care service? Take a moment now and talk with your medical provider about how these needs would be met if an emergency prevented your access to these necessary services.

Essential medical items ALL households want to consider having:


1.        Items for seniors, disabled persons, children, or anyone with serious allergies including special foods

2.        Denture items

3.        Extra eyeglasses

4.        Hearing aid batteries

5.        Several day supply of prescription and non-prescription medications, including insulin, that are used regularly

6.        Inhalers and other essential equipment and backup power supply if these items require electricity or water


Additional Information for Special Needs


Here are some Emergency Preparedness Topics accessible to people who are deaf, blind, or have limited sight.


Visit the American Red Cross's web site for people with disabilities for tips on how to survive a disaster. Also visit the web site on information and videos for helping people with special needs.

3. Get Informed

ZMCHD prepares Muskingum County by having in place a countywide emergency plan that helps coordinate police, fire, medical and emergency responses. Click here to view the Public Health Chapter. The Public Health Chapter is the health department's section of the County Emergency Response Plan. Comments Please: Submit your comments on the Public Health Chapter to

Other related activities include:


  1. We are conducting regular training exercises to test our emergency preparedness.
  2. Medical providers are sent educational alerts which will increase awareness and reporting of illness.
  3. Genesis Hospital Emergency Departments reports any unusual patterns of illness every 24 hours to the Zanesville-Muskingum County Public Health Department.
  4. Volunteer Opportunities 
  5. After the Flood: Important Information to Remember
  6. Flooding Emergencies: What to know and do when there is a flood
  7. Food Safety During an Emergency
  8. Special Needs & Alerting Registry
  9. Muskingum County Resource Management
  10. Community Healthcare Coalition

Related Links




Older Americans


People with Disabilities and Special Needs



Emergency Kits


General Information


Frequently Asked Questions



Health Care Providers

Avian Flu

Correct Hand Washing Procedures



Sarin Information





Radiation Emergencies


Ricin Information



Extreme Heat


Landslides and Mudslides


Power Outages


Winter Weather



































Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -

Ohio EMA -

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -

Web video from the Dept. of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, urging the public to be prepared for any emergency -