Emergency Preparedness
Family Plan

Make an Emergency Family Plan that Covers:
*Where to meet, both outside your home and outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
*Who is responsible for what actions that need to take place (shut off valves, pick up children, etc.)?

Make an Evacuation Plan:
*How to evacuate - exits from your home, road routes to and from home.
*Where to meet - listen to radio and follow instructions, know the locations of American Red Cross shelters.
*What to take - make a list of what to take in time frames: i.e. 5 minutes: limit to lives of family, pets, emergency bag, and documents. 30 plus minutes: include the above items, as well as, photos or negatives, clothes, and/or whatever else is important to your family.

Storage of Emergency Supplies:
*Keep supplies in an area that will always be accessible.
*See list of possible kit contents (to follow); keep a smaller version for your car or at least an extra pair of sturdy shoes.

Prepare Your Home:
*Install smoke detectors.
*Keep a non-powered phone (one that does not require electric power)
*Make copies of important documents, deeds, prescriptions, etc. and store in fire safe box or safe deposit box.
*Learn where shut off valves are located and learn how to shut them off.
Teach other family members. Pay special attention to your propane tank!
*Secure heavy/tall furniture to walls.
*Ask your children to look around for dangers at home/school.
*Practice drills.
*Post phone numbers by the telephone.

Get to Know Your Neighbors:
*Know who may need assistance.
*Know who can give assistance-utility workers, medically trained, etc.
*Unofficial neighborhood watch-know who does not belong.

Educate Yourself and Your Family:
*Know what to do.
*Teach your children about emergency supplies, where they are, how and when to use them, not to play with them.
*Take classes: CPR/First Aid, Living on the Fault Line, are given through the American Red Cross
*Visit your local fire station; get information on fire prevention, wildfire prevention classes, and other vital information.

*Know where to find disaster information on radio and TV stations.
*Know the location of nearest fire and police
*Know how to find family and friends at Red Cross shelters.
*Get your community to make a Community Disaster Plan to include an emergency phone tree.
*Create a local phone tree on your road to alert neighbors of road conditions and hazards.
For more details and assistance in organizing a community disaster plan or for community education for homeowner associations, churches or other organizations, contact Jaci Viskochil at 353-4078. Check the Loma Prieta Recreation schedule for disaster preparedness classes.

An emergency kit should contain:
*A supply of canned foods your family likes - if you don't eat SPAM, don't include it! Don't forget food for your pets and a manual can opener.
*Boxed juices and water: There should be a minimum of five gallons of water per person per day. Water needs to be changed about every six months.
*Clothes and an extra pair of sturdy shoes per person.
*Flashlight and batteries
*Shovel, ax or crowbar
*Children's toys
*First aid kit (easily purchased at stores or Red Cross), including your
prescriptions or a copy to give to emergency personnel.
*Blankets or sleeping bags
*Special items for infants or elderly

**Special Note: when calling 911, you will get service from the county in which you reside. If you want an ambulance to Good Samaritan and you live in Santa Cruz County, you need to ask dispatch to transfer to Santa Clara County 911.


*Strictly follow EBS instructions (radio station listed on Family Plan sheet). If told to shelter-in-place, close all windows, turn off fans, close fireplace damper, go to an above-ground room with the fewest windows and doors, wet towels or tape around doors/windows/exhaust fans. Use plastic garbage bags to cover windows/outlets and heat registers. If danger of explosion - close window shades and stay away from windows.

Continue to listen to officials for instruction.

*Continue to listen to the radio for instructions/information.
*Take your emergency kit with you.
*Call PG&E to report downed power lines.
Do not move them yourself.


*Learn duck & cover - this must be so familiar that it is instinctive.
*Stay out of damaged areas - structures may look safe but may actually be on the verge of collapse.
*Find safety spots indoors - away from windows, in a corner, under a desk.
*Find safety spots outdoors - away from buildings, power lines, and trees.


Leave your home, then call 911.If evacuation threatens, prepare to:
*Confine pets to one room until evacuation.
*Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
*Have a DRY handkerchief to protect your face; a wet one could damage your lungs
*Lock your home and tell someone where you've gone.

Prevention is the real key
*Make sure fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and clearly display your address.
*Install smoke detectors; test and replace batteries two times a year.
*Teach children about fire safety (stop/drop/roll) and not to play with
*Regularly clean gutters.
*Inspect chimneys-keep equipment in working order.
*Purchase and learn to use fire extinguishers.
*Keep a ladder that will reach the roof.
*Make a defensible space around your home: rake leaves from under decks, remove branches that overhang the roof, clear 10" around the propane tank and the tops of chimneys. CalFire can assist you with more specific information including fire-safe landscaping.



Outdoors is the most dangerous place to be during a lightning storm. When lightning is seen or thunder is heard, or when dark clouds are observed, quickly move indoors or into a hard-topped vehicle and remain there until well after the lightning storm ends. Listen to forecasts and warnings through NOAA Weather Radio or your local TV and radio stations.
*Postpone activities promptly. Don’t wait for rain, most people who are struck by lightning are not in the rain. Go quickly inside a completely enclosed building, not a carport, open garage, or covered patio. A cave is a good option, but move away from the entrance. Avoid sheds, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, and bleachers.
*Be the lowest point. Lightning hits the tallest object. In the mountains if you are above treeline, YOU are the highest object around. Quickly get below treeline and get into a grove of small trees. Crouch down if you are in an exposed area.
*Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increased wind, which may be signs of an approaching thunderstorm.
* Listen for the sound of thunder. If you hear thunder, or see lightning, or if your hair stands on end, go to a safe shelter.
* Listen to NOAA Weather radio. Coaches and other leaders should listen for a tone-alert feature during practice sessions and games.
*If you can’t get to a shelter, stay away from trees. If there is no shelter, crouch in the open, keeping twice as far away from a tree as it is tall.
*Avoid leaning against vehicles. Get off of bicycles and motorcycles.
*Get out of the water. It’s a great conductor of electricity. Stay off the beach and out of the small boats or canoes. If caught in a boat, crouch down in the center of the boat, away from metal hardware. Swimming, wading, snorkeling, and scuba driving are NOT safe. Lightning can strike the water and travel some distance beneath and away from its point of contact. Don’t stand in puddles of water, even if wearing rubber boots.
*Avoid metal! Drop backpacks, stay away from fences, exposed sheds, and electrically conductive elevated objects. Don’t hold golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets or tools. Large metal objects can conduct lightning. Small metal objects can cause burns.
*Move away from groups of people. Stay several yards away from other people. Don’t share a bleacher bench or huddle in a group.



Energy is in short supply in California so rotating power outages are a real possibility, as well as outages caused by high winds, storms and other types of disaster situations.
*conserve where you can so the demand is lower.
*know your rotating outage block number located in the lower left-hand portion of your bill.
*keep emergency supplies on hand.
*assist family members and neighbors who may be susceptible to high or low temperatures for expended periods of time.
*have either a cell phone or hardwire single line phone (one that does not require electricity).
*know how to manually open electric garage doors, electric gates, etc.
*protect sensitive equipment, such as computers, televisions, and stereo equipment by installing surge protectors.
*identify operating requirements of gas appliances that have electric ignitions.
If you are stranded and there are power lines down, stay in the car because the tires act as insulators. Jumping out will ground you and if the wires are live, can electrocute you.



*Add rubber boots and gloves to your emergency kit.
*Walking or driving through flood waters is the most dangerous thing you can do - Don’t even think about doing this!
*Know exit routes - Do Not drive through flooded roads. There is no way to tell if the road below is still intact. Know the creeks in your area that could rise to be a problem.
*If you are stranded and there are power lines down, stay in the car because the tires act as insulators. Jumping out will ground you and if the wires are live, can electrocute you.
*Head for higher ground and stay away from flood waters - 6 inches of
moving water can knock you down.
*Standing water may be electrically charged by downed power lines
*Store water in clean containers, even a bathtub. Water may become
contaminated or water services may shut down.
*Have a NOAA Weather Radio handy and understand the following messages:
*Flood Watch: Be Alert. Slow rising/flood possible in your area.
*Flood Warning: Take necessary precautions immediately.  You may
only have seconds.
*Urban & Small Stream Advisory: Flooding of small streams, streets and low lying areas such as railroad underpasses, urban storm drains, and culverts.
*Install check valves in sewer traps to avoid water back-up into your drains.
*Move furniture and other valuables to upper floors.
*Have wells checked for purity after rains have subsided.