Prepare Your Family and Home
Your first priority is to take care of yourself and your family. This should include:
- Develop a Family Emergency Plan (use this one provided by FEMA as a starting point – PDF)
- Attending a Personal Emergency Preparedness Course (PEP) – (link to section below)
- Maintain a supply of food and water to sustain you and your family for at least 72 hours.
- Gather and organize other supplies (clothing, shelter) which you may need to survive without electricity or water
- Prepare your home to minimize damage which could occur from an earthquake
- Learn when and how to turn off the gas and water connections to your home
Be sure to check out the Resource section of the website for forms and information that will be helpful in completing these steps.
Help your Neighbors
Join with other members of your BAT to develop a plan on how to help each other before and after a major disaster. “Before” activities include identifying members in your neighborhood that might be “at risk” during or just after an emergency. Elderly couples are one example here. Also, identifying other useful resources in your neighborhood (such as portable generators) can be a beneficial activity. After a disaster hits, activities should include checking on each household in your BAT, as soon as possible after the event. If there is loss of electricity and/or water for a sustained period of time, additional checks on the households of elderly or more fragile neighbors should also be done.
Included in the Resource section are plans, programs and drills written by the California Office of Emergency Services to help neighborhoods organize for earthquake preparedness. Each BAT will need to determine their level of organization, which will depend on the interest and willingness for neighbors to get involved.
Emergency Communications – via radio
Los Altos is part of the San Francisco Bay Area Federal Communications Commission Emergency Alert System Plan which serves all of the Bay Area Counties, including Santa Clara. If needed, our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) would work with the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services and the County EOC to get information out to the residents via all available media outlets, including radio. KCBS is the identified AM and KQED is the identified FM station for emergency broadcast information in our area.
Personal Emergency Preparedness Course (PEP)
When a disaster strikes, it may be days before emergency medical, police and fire are able to respond in your neighborhood. It is important for individuals and families to be prepared to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours following a disaster.
This Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) course is a 3-hour class designed to prepare citizens to cope in the event of a disaster. The course is offered through the Santa Clara County Fire Department in Los Altos and the PEP classes offered by Los Altos Hills County Fire District in Los Altos Hills. We strongly encourage you to attend the class offered in your community and encourage your neighbors and friends to take this important step to ensure that your families will survive the aftermath
Emergency Preparedness topics include:
- The impact of an area-wide disaster for individuals and community
- Workplace and home safety
- Earthquake emergency supplies to have available
- What to do when your phones don’t work-how to contact your family members
- When and how to turn gas, electrical and water off
- Fire safety and how to use a fire extinguisher
- Household hazardous materials
Los Altos Residents: Residents are encouraged to take advantage of this no-cost opportunity. For more information or to register for upcoming trainings, contact Santa Clara County Fire Department at (408) 378-4010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Altos Hills Residents: Find out more at www.lahcfd.org