Stay safe and be prepared for the next emergency

By Regence
September 12, 2022
emergency preparedness kit

Create a plan and build an emergency kit during National Preparedness Month

Across the West, wildfires continue to affect many communities, including health concerns due to smoke and related air quality issues. Natural disasters remind us of how important it is to be prepared for the worst, to protect both for ourselves and our loved ones.

This year’s National Preparedness Month theme is “A Lasting Legacy”, a reminder that the life you’ve built is worth protecting. By building an emergency plan, you can take an active part in protecting yourself and your loved ones.

Teach your family what to do in an emergency

You and your family may not be together when an emergency happens. Having a family plan that everyone can follow, regardless of location, can help you all stay safe when an emergency strikes.

  • Teach children how and when to call 911
  • Identify which friends or neighbors your children can go to for help
  • Designate a safe meeting place to reconnect if you get separated when leaving your home
  • Map out escape routes from your home to your meeting place and practice going there
  • Consider accessibility. Does someone in your home need to use a stroller, wheelchair or other mobility devices? Who in your group may have trouble getting to your meeting place quickly?

Build an emergency kit

Be prepared for an emergency or natural disaster by building emergency kits for everyone in your home. Store emergency supplies in a weather-proof duffle bag or backpack and keep it in a safe, accessible place. An emergency kit should have:

  • Water supply that has one gallon of water per person, per day, stored in sealed containers
  • Supply of canned food and a non-electric can opener
  • Change of clothes, sturdy shoes and sufficient rain gear
  • First aid kit
  • Extra pair of prescription eyeglasses, if needed
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Emergency credit or debit card, as well as cash
  • Extra set of car keys
  • List of family physicians
  • Copies of important documents like birth certificates, driver’s licenses and insurance information
  • Special items needed for infants, elderly or family members with disabilities

Remember to plan for medications and health care needs

We don’t recommend stockpiling prescription medications for emergency kits, as they have expiration dates, and some require special handling and storage. We can’t guarantee the safety or efficacy of medications stored for a long period of time.

Instead, we recommend you:

  • Make a list of prescription and over-the-counter medications and dosages you take regularly. Keep your list and phone numbers for your doctors and pharmacies in a waterproof bag or container.
  • Carry your member ID card at all times or download the Regence app to access your member ID card and member information from your phone.
  • Reorder your medications as soon as you are able. Consider ordering an extended supply (e.g. up to 90 days) through home delivery or retail pharmacies, and don’t wait until you are out of medication to refill your prescription.
  • Keep your medications together. Keep them in their original containers with original labels and store them in a waterproof bag or container.
  • Prepare for special needs: If your medication requires refrigeration or electronic equipment, have a plan for temporary storage and administration.
  • Share your medication disaster plan with your doctor, especially if your medication has special shipping or electronic equipment requirements. Also, discuss plans for your child’s medication with your child’s daycare provider or school.

Take some time this month to build your emergency kit and create a plan with your household. A little time in preparation saves a lot of time when you need it most.

We’re here to help

Regence members can sign in at or download the app for 24/7 access to health plan information and resources. Our Customer Service team is also available to help by calling the number on the back of your member ID card, or by using live chat when signed in to your account.