Disasters don't plan ahead. You can. 

At HandsOn, we've responded to a number of disasters (check out our response efforts page) and have learned a lot from these experiences. We have compiled a list of tips and FAQ's that will help you become better prepared for when disaster strikes! 


  • make sure you know where all of your important documents are prior to an emergency. We recommend that you keep everything together in a safe, hidden space. 

  • have a family plan- Talk to each other at the dinner table about possible disasters (A hurricane, tornado, etc) and create a plan of action. Use these questions to get your conversation started:

    • Where will we meet?
    • What will we take with us?
    • What if the power goes out? 
    • What if I don't have my phone?
  • MAke sure you are receiving local and national emergency alerts. For new orleans, you can visit ready.nola.gov and sign up for alerts via email, text, or phone calls


  • When should I evacuate?

    • There is a mandatory evacuation for any hurricane Category 3 or higher. For category 1 or 2 hurricanes, evacuation is not always mandatory but encouraged.
  • What should I take with me when I evacuate?

    • Clothes
    • Money
    • Official documents (Insurance, license, passport, etc)
    • Medication
    • First aid kit
  • What do I need if I choose to shelter in place?

    • 3 days of non-perishable goods per person
    • 3 gallons of water per day per person
    • Flashlights and batteries
    • Books, games, and entertainment in case power goes off
    • Non-electric can opener