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While it’s ideal to have emergency supplies and savings at the ready in case of a disaster, most of us can’t afford to have back up supplies and cash on hand just in case. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to plan ahead that don’t require a ton of money. For this year’s National Preparedness Month, we’ve gathered some low and no cost emergency preparedness tips from FEMA and

  1. Know your risks. Learn about the natural disasters and emergencies may happen in your area.
  • Is your home in a flood zone? Check on
  • What kind of severe weather is common in your area? Visit the National Weather Service website for safety tips on weather events that can occur regionally in the U.S. here: Weather Safety Tips.
  • Are you in an earthquake zone? Most of us are! Visit and select your area for resources and preparedness information.
  • Is your home at risk of wildfires? Visit to explore risk maps.
  1. Set up a weather alert radio in your home. Small ones can be found for less than $20 plus the cost of batteries, but they are priceless as 24/7 safety alert devices because they will sound an alarm when there’s danger in your area.
  1. Set up emergency alerts on your mobile device. Download the FEMA app in English and Spanish and set it up for your area. You can even request a direct link to download via text. On your Android device, text ANDROID to 43362. On your Apple device, text APPLE to 43362.

  2. Create an emergency communications plan for your household and family after you have assessed your risks, and set up your alert systems. This Family Emergency Communication Plan template will help. Then use this Family Communication Plan Card to create a print out to keep in your wallet and to share with everyone who needs to know.

  3. Finally, review your plan with your family. Talking about potential emergencies and your plan for handling them goes a long way with settling anxious minds—your kids’ and your own.

For more detailed information, templates, printables, and links, visit!