VHA Office of Emergency Management
VA Staff and Emergency Management
Preparing for a disaster is everyone’s responsibility. Managing your health should be part of your planning.
Planning for Disasters and Emergencies - Depending on where you live, you and your family could be impacted by one of the common disasters listed below. Click on a button below to learn more about what you can do before, during, and after an emergency to stay safe.
Have You Created Your Family Support Plan? -In times of emergency, there may be incidents where you, a VA employee, are away from your family; are you prepared for that? How will you communicate with your family and other loved ones impacted by an emergency/disaster?
Do you have a family plan? Have you tested your family plan?
Your actions should be taken before, during, and after an event unique to each hazard. Identify the hazards that have happened or could happen in your area and plan for the unique actions for each. Local emergency management offices can help identify the dangers in your area and outline the local plans and recommendations for each. Find out from local government emergency management how you will be notified for each kind of disaster, both natural and man-made.
Most importantly, your family plan is not one and done, and you and your family plan must be reviewed, revised, and updated to meet your current circumstances.
FEMA – Ready.gov is an interagency partner, and we have utilized their template to assist in your planning.
For more information regarding VHA Emergency Management, please visit the VHA Office of Emergency Management at VHA Office of Emergency Management Home (va.gov)
Creating an Emergency Health Information Card - An emergency health information card can help rescuers understand your medical needs if you are unconscious or incoherent or if they need to help you evacuate quickly. The card should contain information about medications, equipment, allergies and sensitivities, communication difficulties, preferred treatment, and important contact people. Click here to create your card today.
Basic Emergency Preparation
Make a survival kit for yourself and your family:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Flashlight Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries (Similar item available in the Red Cross Store)
- Deluxe family first aid kit Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Printed medication list Multi-purpose tool Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash Emergency blanket Map(s) of the area
Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers) Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:
- N95, surgical or cloth facemasks
- Rain gear
- Work gloves Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Scissors or utility knife
- Household liquid bleach
- Entertainment items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Visit your VA health care facility website for information about emergency events near you and response/recovery plans.
- Create and authenticate a MyHealtheVet account. Use secure messaging to stay connected with your health care team.
- Have a hard copy of your medication list in your survival kit.
- Make sure you have a mobile phone and charger in case you need to call for a first responder, emergency service or contact your family, friends and neighbors.
- Visit the FEMA website and explore the "Assistance" section.
- Take care of yourself. Explore some of these quick videos to help you manage stress and feel better.
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
- Check the operating status of your VA health care facility.
- Go to your VA facility's website and sign up for email notifications.
- Get local information from local officials and community leaders. Use the FEMA search tool to locate and connect with those resources.
- Install a mobile app to your phone and stay connected wherever you go. These are not VA apps and VA does not manage, maintain or endorse any of these options:
- FEMA App
- SAMHSA App
- Index of many emergency management related mobile apps
- Red Cross published on the NIH website