Disasters disrupt thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property. We must know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area— earthquakes, wildfire, flooding, or terrorism, etc. If a disaster occurs within the community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help, but they may not be able to reach you immediately. It may be hours, or it may be days until help arrives. You should prepare to be self-sufficient for at least three days such as providing your own shelter, first aid, food, water, and sanitation until help arrives. Start preparing now.
- Alerts links: FEMA App | MyShake
- Make a Plan Link
- Preparedness Tips
- Disaster supplies
- Calendar for trainings
Have a Plan
What is my shelter plan?
Large incidents may require sheltering in your home, as your best means of protection. The length of time required may vary, and it is important you have food and water supplies to help you and your family get by. Sheltering in your home may be necessary for a pandemic, or release of a hazardous material. There may be three types of sheltering including: stay at home, mass care shelter, and sheltering in place.
What is my evacuation route?
Many types of emergencies may require evacuation, some with ample warning and others with no warning. It is important for your family to plan where you will go if you have to evacuate. Depending on the type of disaster, one escape route may be compromised. A strong family plan will identify several possible escape routes. Prepare to take a Go Bag with you.
What is my family/household communication plan?
A major emergency may happen when you are not with your family. For example, adults may be at work and children at school, and it may not be possible to reach each other. We would want to know if they are ok and how we can meet them. Communication networks may be disrupted during a disaster and planning in advance will help ensure all members of your household including children and people with special needs know how to reach each other. Write down, phone numbers and addresses and share the information with each other including a relative or friend that does not live nearby and likely wouldn’t be impacted by a disaster near you. Meeting places should also be kept in mind. It is important to pick 3 places for your family to meet, such as right outside of your home, a location in your neighborhood, and a location outside of your neighborhood.
Pack a Go Bag or Build a Stay Bag – Basic Disaster Supply list
When disasters happen quickly, you may not have time to pack. Prepare a go bag with items that are most important to you. You may store this go bag in your car or in your home. In addition to the go bag, keeping a stay bag or box is equally as important.
- Documents (ID, passport, insurance)
- Your communications list
- Small first aid kit
- Portable Radio
- Portable Computer
- Bottled water
- Extra batteries
- Toilet paper
- Hygiene products
- Dust mask
- Portable cell chargers
- Waterproof container
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes
- Pet food or supplies
- Sleeping bag, blanket, pillow
- Fire extinguisher
- Backup Generator
- Utensils, plates
- Activities for children
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides or avalanches.
If an earthquake happens, protect yourself right away:
- If you are in a car, pull over and stop. Set your parking brake.
- If you are in bed, turn face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
- If you are outdoors, stay outdoors away from buildings.
- If you are inside, stay and do not run outside and avoid doorways.
- Drop (or Lock): Wherever you are, drop down to your hands and knees and hold onto something sturdy. If you’re using a wheelchair or walker with a seat, make sure your wheels are locked and remain seated until the shaking stops.
- Cover: Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris. Stay on your knees or bent over to protect vital organs.
- Hold On: If you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms and hold on to your neck with both hands.
Using a Cane?
Using a Walker?
Using a Wheelchair?
Source: Earthquakes | Ready.gov
While fires are important to maintaining diverse and healthy ecosystems, good for cooking, and campfires, fires under specific conditions can become dangerous. Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas like forests, grasslands or prairies. These dangerous fires spread quickly and can devastate not only wildfire and natural areas, but also communities.
- Download the FEMA app and sign up to receive alerts (Link to FEMA APP)
- Make sure your home is properly equipped with smoke detectors and alarms
- Equip your home with a fire extinguisher
- Keep N-95 Masks in your emergency bag to keep particles out of the air you breathe
- Set up a fire resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home
Stay Safe During:
- Red Flag Warning - Evacuate immediately if a warning is issued, as late decisions to evacuate lead to wildfire deaths
- Know your evacuation route
- If trapped, call 911
Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods may result from: rain, snow, overflows from damns. They may develop slowly or quickly causing power outages, damaging buildings, or creating landslides.
If under a flood warning
- Find safe shelter right away
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around!
- Stay off bridges and fast-moving water
- Depending on the type of flooding you may be asked to: evacuate, move to higher ground, or stay where you area.
If you become trapped while in your vehicle, stay inside the car. If water begins rising, get on the roof. If you become trapped in a building, get to the highest level and only get on the roof if necessary to signal for help.
Words to Know
Flood Watch: A message that flooding is possible and to listen to local radio or TV news and weather for more information. You may receive an alert on a cell phone.
Flood Warning: A message that flooding will occur soon, if it hasn't already, and to move to higher ground or evacuate immediately.
Flash Flood: A flood that can happen within minutes or hours of heavy rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or city drains overflowing.
Levee/Dam: A manmade structure to contain or prevent water from moving past a certain point.
Source: Floods | Ready.gov
Extended power outages may impact the whole community and the economy. A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly.
A power outage may:
- Disrupt communications, water and transportation.
- Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks and other services.
- Cause food spoilage and water contamination.
- Prevent use of medical devices.
Sign up for Power outage alerts by going to Log In | My SCE | Home - SCE
When an unexpected blackout or public safety power shutoff (PSP) occurs, here are some tips to help you prepare, stay online and lessen the impact until the lights come on.
- Make alternate plans such as going to a location with power
- Use a generator (but only outdoors and away from windows)
- Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home
- Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage form electrical surges
- Keep refrigerators closed, and have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines using power dependent medical devises.
- Check for heating and cooling locations.
- Take inventory of items that use electricity and purchase backups including batteries portable chargers and flashlights.
Generator Safety Usage
Using a generator incorrectly can cause monoxide poisoning form engine exhaust. If you smell fumes you may be exposed to carbon monoxide. Consider installing battery operated carbon monoxide alarms. Using generators incorrectly may also cause electrocution or fires.
For safety and effectiveness when using your generator:
- Position generators outdoors and well away from any structure
- Keep the generator dry
- Disconnect the power coming in before you use generator
- Make sure generator is properly grounded
- Plug equipment directly into the generator
- Do not plug the generator into a wall outlet
- Maintain adequate supply of fuel
- Turn of the generator and let it cool before refueling
- Inspect and maintain your generator supply regularly
Mass attacks may take several forms including:
- Active shooter situations
- Individuals using a vehicle to cause mass casualties
- Individuals using improvised explosive devices (IED’s)
If you see suspicious activity, report it right away.
When you visit a building familiarize yourself with nearby exits and map out places to hide.
If available to you, participate in first and stop the bleed training.
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
- Have an escape route and plan in mind
- Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
- Leave your belongings behind
- Help others escape, if possible
- Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
- Keep your hands visible
- Follow the instructions of any police officers
- Do not attempt to move wounded people
- Call 911 when you are safe
If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:
- Be out of the active shooter’s view
- Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
- Not trap you or restrict your options for movement
To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
- Lock the door
- Blockade the door with heavy furniture 3
HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY. If the active shooter is nearby:
- Lock the door
- Silence your cell phone and/or pager
- Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
- Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
- Remain quiet If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:
- Remain calm
- Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
- If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:
- Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
- Throwing items and improvising weapons
- Committing to your actions