Each year, natural disasters in Missouri disrupt thousands of lives. The types of disasters vary - most commonly dangerous tornadoes and severe storms, ice storms, and flooding — but in each case, when faced with a disaster, having a plan and being prepared is the best defense for Missouri’s communities and families. Being prepared in the event of a disaster can save lives, prevent injuries and reduce damage and financial loss. Preparing also reduces fear and anxiety and helps speed recovery in the disaster’s aftermath.

If a disaster occurs in your community, local and state governments, along with disaster relief organizations, will work in coordination to assist you and your neighbors. However, in the event of a catastrophic disaster, outside assistance may not be immediately available. Therefore, it is important for you and your family to be prepared. When planning for a potential disaster, the State Emergency Management Agency and other emergency management and response agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), recommend that families keep on hand enough water, canned and dry food, and other essential supplies to be self-sufficient for at least three days. These include prescription medications, first aid and sanitation supplies.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has developed the Ready in 3 Program to help Missourians prepare. Endorsed by the American Red Cross, the State Emergency Management Agency and Missouri's Office of Homeland Security, Missouri's Ready in 3 Program focuses on three steps you can take to prepare for many kinds of emergencies.

Create a Plan
Prepare a Kit
Listen for Information

By using the preparedness resources provided, you will be able to better protect yourself and your family in the event of an emergency. By applying the Ready in 3 guidelines, you are taking the necessary steps to plan and be prepared for when a disaster occurs.