Disasters Can Happen at Any Moment: Are You Prepared

Disasters can happen in California at any moment.

Living in a state with the potential for wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, flooding, tsunamis and more, it’s important to consider which disaster could potentially affect your area. Making a plan and preparing before a disaster will help protect you and your loved ones during these times.

There are many considerations to keep in mind when preparing for a disaster. Following the safety steps below will help prepare your family, household members, and friends for any disaster.

  1. If you haven’t already, go to CalAlerts.org and sign up for alerts through your county.
  2. Make a plan to protect you and your loved ones.
  3. Get to safety with the things you need.
  4. Stay safe at home when you can’t leave.
  5. Help friends and neighbors get ready.

Connect and Protect

Think about who you want to connect with during an emergency. This may be family members, neighbors, friends, or caregivers. Write down their names and contact information. Include home, work, school, and other significant numbers. Share copies with everyone on your list. You should also pick one person, outside the area where you live, who won’t be affected by your local disaster.

Evacuation Action

If you are not safe at home, work, or school due to a disaster, you will need to go to a safe place and meet up with people you care about. It’s hard to know ahead of time where these safe places might be. These places might change based on the kind of emergency you face.

  1. Follow the guidance of local authorities.
  2. Learn different ways to get out of your community fast.
  3. Be ready to go to your safe place.
  4. Keep your gas tank full.

Pack a Go Bag

Most disasters are unexpected and happen fast. You might not have time to shop, or even to pack. Pack up important items now, so you have what you need later. Pack things for each member of your household.

A Go Bag should include:

  • Important documents
  • Cash
  • Local map
  • Medications list
  • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food) and manual can opener (for food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and whistle (to signal for help)
  • First aid kit
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Since you don’t know where you will be when a disaster occurs, it’s important to prepare supply kits for your home, car, and anywhere you frequently visit like work, to ensure you and your family are ready no matter where you are during a disaster.

Stay Box

In some disasters, you may be safer staying at home. Damage from the disaster might make that uncomfortable. You might not have water to drink, to bathe or to flush the toilet. You might not have electricity to keep your food cold, turn on a light or charge your phone.

Add items to a Stay Box, for when you can’t leave home. Prepare for at least 3 days without water or electricity. Save up a little at a time, until you have enough for everyone in your household including pets, to get by.

Items to include in your Stay Box:

  • Water: Save up to three gallons per person, for drinking and washing.
  • Food: Set aside foods that won’t spoil and require no cooking.
  • Trash Bags: Set aside extra plastic bags, with ties, to use in a bucket for a toilet

Once a kit is assembled it will need to be maintained by keeping any canned food in a cool and dry place, storing boxed food in a tightly closed plastic or metal container, expired items should be replaced, and you should rethink your household’s needs yearly as your family’s needs may change.

Disasters are challenging for everyone. Each individual and household has different needs when preparing for a disaster. You or someone you care about can benefit from planning ahead.

For more information and guidance on how to plan for a disaster, visit Disaster Preparedness – Listos California