Public Health Topics
Are you ready for an emergency?

Natural disasters, like earthquakes and flooding, or man-made ones, like fire or explosions, happen without warning. Being prepared for emergencies can greatly lessen injury and loss of life or property. Beach Cities Health District is part of the South Bay’s emergency preparedness network.

As Ben Franklin counseled, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Getting you and your family informed on proper safety procedures and securing a few easy-to-acquire supplies can go a long way towards easing the impact of a disaster or emergency. Learn how to create your own disaster plan by visiting the sites and resources below.

Emergency Preparedness:
Prepare yourself for any emergency or disaster and make a plan today.

Step 1: Discuss these four questions with your household:

Step 2: Consider the specific needs of your household. Do you have

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan!

Step 4:  Practice! Practice! Practice!
Make sure to test your plan with your family or household before you have to use it during a real emergency

Building Your Emergency Supply Kit
While you are building your kit, think not only of essentials such as food, water and first aid, but also items that are specific to your family’s needs. After your kit is complete, choose a designated storage area, known by all, that is easily accessible. Be sure to maintain and update your kit regularly. Remember, as your family changes so does its needs, and so must your kit!

Step 1: Think about what essentials you need

  • Use this helpful Emergency Supply List as a guide
  • Remember to pack enough for everyone in the household. This may mean making multiple kits.

Step 2: Think of essential items that are unique to your family

  • Do you need to bring prescription medication?
  • Get your kids in on the prep by having them make their own kit
  • Don’t forget your pets! Make sure you have a pet kit as well! 

Step 3: Store your kits in a designated place

  • Make sure they are easily and quickly accessible
  • Think about where you spend most of your time
  • Make sure everyone in the household knows where they are located

Step 4: Maintain your kit

  • Check on your kits at least annually and whenever there is a major life change (marriage, birth of a child, etc.)
  • Add or subtract items as your family’s needs change
  • Check for expired items and replace them

Basic items listed on the FEMA emergency supply list include:

  • 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
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • 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
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Safe-Guarding Documents
Being ready for a disaster is more than storing water and supplies. You also need to be ready to navigate the recovery process afterwards, including potentially applying for disaster assistance. Starting early and having adequate insurance, a plan to pay your bills and access to your important records and accounts after a disaster (when you may not be able to return to your home) will help you get back on your feet faster and avoid problems with your credit when you need it most. The free Emergency Financial First Aid Kit is a tool designed to help individuals and families collect and secure documents they will need to recover after a disaster, such as:

  • Account numbers
  • Tax statements
  • Insurance policies
  • Car titles
  • Deeds to property

» Learn how to stay safe before and during a pandemic.
» Find additional Emergency Resources in our Resource Guide.

City Resources

Regional Resources

Additional Resources