The best time to prepare for an emergency is before it happens. Print out the checklists and information sheets below and keep copies in an easy-to-reach location for immediate reference.

Make a Plan

After a major disaster, it is unlikely that emergency responders will be able to immediately respond to everyone's needs, so it's important to be prepared. The Make a Plan checklist will help you and your family prepare for an emergency.

For more information on what to include in a pet plan and kit, see the Animal Care and Control website .

Build a Kit

After a major disaster the usual services we take for granted, such as running water, refrigeration, and telephones may be unavailable. The Build a Kit checklist will enable you and your family to be self-sufficient for at least three days.

Be Prepared at Work

This checklist will help you when a disaster strikes while you are at work.

Additional Disaster Communication Tips

  • Plan for how you will communicate with loved ones after a disaster.
  • Long-distance phone lines often work when local phone lines do not. Identify an out-of-state contact and provide this person with the contact information for people you want kept informed of your situation. Share this information with your family and friends locally.
  • Avoid making non-urgent phone calls after a disaster. Even if phone lines are un-damaged, increased phone traffic can jam phone circuits, preventing emergency calls from getting through.
  • Cordless phones or phone systems require electricity; make sure you have a backup phone that requires no electricity.
  • Keep coins in your Go-bag. Pay phones may work when landlines do not.
  • Don’t count on your cell phone working. Increased traffic on cell phone networks can quickly overload wireless capacity.
  • Record an outgoing message on your voicemail so that callers can be re-assured of your safety status.
  • Text messages may work when phone lines are not working. Texts use a different part of the cell phone network. But keep the text as short as possible.
  • Place a message on your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media profiles to let family and friends know of your status.
  • Register with to receive alerts about actual or potential hazards and post-disaster information.

Emergency Preparedness Tips

Below are links to preparedness sites that provide additional information on how to prepare for many common emergencies in the Bay Area. Please take time to visit these sites and prepare yourself and your family for emergencies.

County-Specific Alert and Preparedness Links

Below are links to specific sites for the nine Bay Area counties. On these sites, you can sign up for your home county’s emergency alerts, and find additional preparedness tips for your county. Please sign up for your home county emergency alerts and follow their preparedness suggestions.

Additional Resources

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