Take Steps Now to Be Prepared: Wildfire Preparedness


As the state’s lead emergency management agency, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has experienced in the past five years some of the most challenging times for emergency managers, including an unprecedented number of emergencies and disasters.

As California recognizes Wildfire Preparedness Week (May 1-7), it’s a reminder that climate change continues to intensify and lengthen the fire season in California. The state has experienced unprecedented wildfire activity over the past several years, with increases in the number and severity of wildfires.

To rise to meet the challenges created by this changing climate, Governor Gavin Newsom has invested across all respective state agencies to ensure our state is better equipped to respond to emergencies and disasters.

Continued Investments in Emergency Services

As the challenges continue to grow, Cal OES has dedicated enhanced technology, more personnel and additional equipment to keep Californians safe in advance of fire season, including:

  • Wildfire Intelligence, Forecasting and Information Sharing Center
  • Situational Awareness and Collaborative Tool (SCOUT)
  • Fire Intelligence Reconnaissance System (FIRIS)

Accordingly, the Governor’s Proposed 2022-23 Budget builds on previous investments to continue to enhance the state’s ability to prepare for, and respond to, future disasters and protect vulnerable communities.

California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System

picture of four fire engines lined up

Cal OES coordinates the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System to deploy a fleet of 270+ fire engines to 60+ local partners to rapidly respond to wildfires or any all-hazard risk in California.

The California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System assigns local government fire agencies with fire apparatus to maintain surge capacity during day-to-day duties and major events or emergencies.

Meeting our Mission for a More Resilient California

The state is also investing hundreds of millions of dollars to protect our most vulnerable communities, ensuring they have the outreach and education needed to be prepared for, can respond to and recover from disasters, including:

This is part of our ongoing work to build community resilience among vulnerable individuals living in the areas of the state most susceptible to natural disasters.

Safety Steps for Any Disaster

  1. Get alerts to know what to do
    • Sign up to get your county alerts
    • Go to CalAlerts.org
  2. Make a plan to protect your people
    • Connect and protect – Think about who you want to connect with during an emergency.
    • Evacuation action – follow the guidance of local authorities, learn different ways to get out of your community fast, and be ready to go to your safe place.
    • Local disaster resource directory – write down important phone numbers and websites of organizations that can help you in an emergency
  3. Pack a Go Bag with things you need
    • Documents: copies of identification and insurance; deeds, titles, and other papers important to you; photos of family and pets
    • Cash: small bills, save up a little at a time
    • Map: mark different routes out of your neighborhood on a paper map
    • Medication list: list all prescriptions, other important medical information
  4. Build a Stay Box for when you can’t leave
    • 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 to get by. Remember any pets. If you already own a flashlight or a portable radio, keep it someplace easy to find.
  1. Help friends and neighbors get ready
    • Who may need help?
    • Who is home in your household during the day?
    • Who is at home in your neighborhood that may be able to help during an emergency?

Learn more about how to be disaster ready here. Materials are available in the following languages:

  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • ASL
  • Chatino
  • Chinese
  • Dari
  • English
  • Filipino
  • Hindi
  • Hmong
  • Korean
  • Mam
  • Mixteco
  • Pashto
  • Punjabi
  • Purépecha
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tigrinya
  • Tlapaneco
  • Tongan
  • Triqui
  • Vietnamese
  • Zapoteco