Natural disasters occur without warning. Therefore, planning ahead is the key to survival and recovery when an event occurs. Thankfully, there are a number of government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses who help citizens prepare wisely, minimize danger, and recover. Take time now to familiarize yourself with these resources so that you can take appropriate actions as needed.
Preparedness is everyone's job. Not just government agencies but all sectors of society—service providers, businesses, civic and volunteer groups, industry associations and neighborhood associations, as well as every individual citizen—should plan ahead for disaster. During the first few hours or days following a disaster, essential services may not be available. People must be ready to act on their own. – California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
The following resources will help you prepare yourself, your household, and your property for an earthquake. As you prepare, you'll feel more confident and secure. Together we can improve safety, and we can also clean up and recover when necessary.
The Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security website provides information to help you prepare now, survive during an earthquake, and act safely immediately after an event. Each link at Ready includes related links with finer details to help you prepare no matter what your individual needs and circumstances are:
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides online help before, during, and after an earthquake at Earthquake Safety. In addition, the Red Cross has eight regional offices in California. Click on links below to find a local office and note the contact information with your important documents and on your cell phone. Local offices will coordinate and provide tangible services, such as:
- Conducting search and rescue efforts,
- Providing medical care
- Serving food and water
- Distributing relief supplies
- Building an emergency shelter
- Restoring communications
The American Red Cross also helps people recover emotionally. For free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746. If you are in immediate need of help, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross listed below:
- American Red Cross of Central California serves Mariposa, Madera, Merced, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.
- Desert to the Sea Region serves Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
- American Red Cross of Gold Country region consists of two chapters.
- American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region is comprised of four chapters and serves 16 counties.
- American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties serves two counties.
- San Diego Region Headquarters: 858-309-1200
- Imperial Valley Service Center: 760-352-4541
- American Red Cross Los Angeles Region consists of five local chapters.
- The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) was tasked by the Governor to support and enhance preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Resources for planning and preparation, as well as Earthquake Recovery, are available on this site.
- Contact the California Earthquake Authority for information about earthquake insurance and learn how to prepare your house. Earthquake damage isn't covered by a conventional home policy.
- The Great California ShakeOut is an annual event to share information and encourage people to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes. Partners and sponsors of the event encourage you to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, secure your space, prepare financially, improve safety, and reconnect and recover after an earthquake.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, responding to and recovering from disasters. The FEMA Earthquake Safety at Home web page provides information to help you before, during, and after an earthquake.
- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) includes numerous links to earthquake resources and educational material.
- The California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is a collaboration of the California Geological Survey, Caltech Seismological Laboratory, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, USGS Menlo Park, USGS Pasadena, and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. CISN's mission includes earthquake monitoring and disseminating critical earthquake information in a timely way. Currently, the group is prototyping an early warning ShakeAlert for US West Coast residents.
- Planning and Preparedness: For Individuals and Families
- Make a Plan
- Get Involved
- Plan Ahead for Disasters
- Earthquake Safety
- Recovering Emotionally
- Local Chapters > Kern County
- Local Chapters > Pacific Coast
- Local Chapters > Central Valley
- Local Chapters > Ventura County
- Local Chapters > San Luis Obispo
- Locations > Orange County
- Locations > Riverside County
- Locations > Coachella Valley/Morongo Basin
- Locations > San Bernardino County
- Locations > San Diego/Imperial Counties
- Los Angeles Region
- Locations > Twentynine Palms
- Locations > Fort Irwin
- Earthquake Recovery
- Earthquake Authority
- Prepare Your House
- California Earthquake Insurance Policies
- Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
- Secure Your Space
- Minimize Financial Hardship
- Plan to Be Safe
- Organize Disaster Supplies
- Improve Safety
- Reconnect and Recover
- The Great California ShakeOut
- Earthquake Safety at Home
- Preparedness Information and Response Agencies
- California Integrated Seismic Network
Tracie is a technical writer who earned her home and garden expertise while extensively remodeling two homes, custom-building a new home, and designing and building a cabin. Additionally, she and her husband, a former landscape professional, have created gardens that feature native plants and locally-sourced limestone. Tracie loves a cozy minimalist home and sews her own pillow covers, quilts, and curtains. Learn more at RicefordStreams.com.