Emergency Preparedness

Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed and Get Involved!

Taking 3 simple steps can make a big difference in ensuring your safety and well-being in the event of an emergency.


You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. Always have your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 3 days (7-10 days are now recommended. Relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately, it can take hours, or it might take days. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger


Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.

Family Emergency Plan

Identify an out-of town contact. It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know. Make sure to tell your family and friends that you've listed them as emergency contacts.

Teach family members how to use text messaging (also knows as SMS or Short Message Service). Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.

Emergency Information

Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.


There are important differences among potential emergencies that will impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Earthquake preparedness is no longer the sole concern we must now account for man-made disasters as well. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.

For more information visit

Resources to Help You Stay Prepared and Informed The nation’s recent disasters have prompted many to question how prepared communities are to face similar tragedies. Living in Duarte means that the threat of earthquakes, fires and other disasters are very real. While no one can predict when or how powerfully a disaster may strike we can all take efforts to be prepared. Avian (or Bird) Flu Information:

Great sources of information on emergency preparedness can be found at these web sites: California Office of Emergency Services: Southern California Earthquake Center:

Dared to Prepare Campaign:

Southern California Gas Company Earthquake Preparedness Tips

Federal Emergency Management Administration: American Red Cross:

County of Los Angeles, Office of Emergency Management: