In recognition of September as National Preparedness Month, Paul Biddinger, MD, director of the Center for Disaster Medicine, shares helpful tips on how to be prepared for any emergency at both work and home.

How can I prepare at home for emergencies?

Building a plan is a great first step. Make sure you and your family discuss shelter plans, evacuation routes, and create a household communication plan. Also, have an emergency supply kit ready. Make sure you have enough water, food, and medications for yourself, family members, and pets for at least three days. Consider other items you may need to keep in your kit like flashlights and battery-powered radios. Be sure to update the kit – and review your emergency plan – on a regular basis.

How can I stay informed in the event of an emergency that is impacting MGH?

Make sure you are signed up to receive notifications from the Employee Alert System (EAS). Keep your information up-to-date in PeopleSoft and make sure your cell phone number is listed in the Partners Phone Directory. You may choose to make your cell phone number confidential, so it does not show in the directory.

What is my role during an emergency at MGH?

Every department has an individual emergency plan. Talk with your supervisor about your specific plan before an event happens. During an emergency, report to your supervisor for instructions and stay on-site until you are directed to leave. If you are off-site, wait for instructions. If you are asked to come in to the hospital, remember that your MGH ID badge serves as a disaster pass and may be needed to enter the hospital.

Where can I find more information? is a great resource with a customizable emergency kit checklist, plan templates and other great information. Also, visit the Emergency Preparedness page on Apollo, the MGH intranet.