Emergency Preparedness

Riding Out a Disaster

Can you go it alone for three days? Would you be ready to ride it out if an earthquake hit today? Would you be self sufficient after a major flood? With some basic planning and thinking ahead, preparing your home for a disaster is easy.

General Tips

Here are some general tips on what to do before, during and after an earthquake, flood or other disaster, developed by the California Governor's Office of Emergencies Services to help you get ready to ride it out.

The first 72 hours after a disaster are critical. Electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working. In addition, public safety service such as police, fire departments and public works personnel will be busy handling serious crisis. You should be prepared to be self sufficient (able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, telephones and assistance from safety services) for at least three days following a disaster. To do so, keep on hand in a central location the following:

  • Alternative cooking source. Store a barbecue or camping stove for outdoor cooking.
  • Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money.
  • Fire Extinguisher - Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires.
  • First Aid Kit - Make sure it's well stocked, especially with bandages and disinfectants.
  • Flashlights with extra batteries - Do not use matches or candles after a disaster until you are certain there are no gas leaks.
  • Food - Enough for 72 hours, preferably one week.
  • Portable radio with extra batteries. Most telephones could be out of order after an earthquake. The radio will be your best source of information.
  • Special Items - Have at least a one week supply of medications and food for those with special needs.
  • Tools - Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off the gas meter.
  • Water - Enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably one week. Store in airtight container and replace it every six months.