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Are You Prepared?
Are You Prepared? Image

We Angelenos are familiar with the realities and readiness needed living in earthquake country. But with our changing climate and the resulting weather extremes of stronger storms and drought, Los Angeles must now add floods and fires to its list of possible emergencies and natural disasters.

With the new year here, this is often the time when people make resolutions. And while there are a multitude of changes that you can commit to making, one of the most important ones to consider (and one of the easiest to fulfill!), is the resolution to being prepared in the case of an emergency.

Now is the time to get to work on that commitment, especially because we are still in the rainy season. As we have seen during past rain events, emergencies can happen in any area of Los Angeles. So put being emergency-ready high on your list of resolutions. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Sign up to receive from NotifyLA
    • During a major disaster in Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles will send messages with information via about evacuation, shelter-in-place instructions, and other key emergency tips via multiple platforms. This is a great resource to help you stay in the loop during an emergency or natural disaster.
  • Get your emergency kit ready
    • After an emergency, you may not be able to follow your normal daily routine or leave your house. This is why it is a good idea to have an emergency kit ready, which includes non-perishable food and water to last you at least three days and essential supplies such as a flashlight and radio. Depending on your family’s needs, you may also need to include items such as prescription medications, extra food for your pet, and activities for children. To build a comprehensive kit, check out this great emergency supply checklist from the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department.
  • Put GO bags in place
    • GO bags are another great way to ensure that you are prepared during an emergency or natural disaster. These are easy-to-carry bags that can be quickly grabbed in the event that you and your family need to quickly evacuate.  They can be a smaller version of your emergency kits with essentials for about three days. Be sure to pack one for each family member as needs may differ and don’t forget Fido and Fluffy. 
  • Make a plan
    • Have you thought about where you would go if you can’t get back to your house after an emergency? Do you have the phone numbers of out-of-town relatives with whom you can stay in an emergency? If you have kids, do you know who would pick them up from school? Spend some time reflecting on what your plan would be for pressing questions like these and make sure each member of your family knows the plan. 
  • Keep emergency contacts in easy to reach locations
    • This is where an easy-to-access emergency contacts list comes in handy. Below is a listing of different types of emergencies and which City or County agency you need to call for a response.  So you always have a list of emergency contacts at your fingertips, bookmark this page or print it out and tack it up on your fridge.


Remember! If your emergency threatens the health and safety of you or the general public, dial 9-1-1.

Emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Being prepared and having a plan in place will help you and your family members feel calmer when a major disaster or emergency occurs. It also means that you’ll be able to answer with a resounding, “Yes!” when you’re asked, “Are you prepared?”

List of numbers that serve as emergency contacts for Los Angeles residents.

List of numbers that serve as emergency contacts for Los Angeles residents. This information is in Spanish.



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