Preparing for an Emergency Before one Happens

Preparing for an emergency begins long before one happens. Here are a few steps you can take now to prepare.

Develop a Plan

Emergencies can come in many forms such as wild fires, storms, earthquakes or school or work emergencies.  That’s why being prepared for emergencies means having a written plan as well as supplies. Developing a written plan provides a systematic and repeatable approach to emergencies.

Your plan should be tailored to meet your specific situation, such as preparing for elderly and disabled family members as well as pets. Your plan should be reviewed and updated annually.

Here are some things to consider when making a plan:

  • Create an emergency plan for your family, identifying two places for the family to meet.
  1. A place outside your home
  2. A spot away from your neighborhood in case you can't return home
  • Practice the plan with your family, including your children
  • Review the emergency plans at your workplace, your children's school or daycare center and other places where members of your family regularly spend time away from home
  • Plan safe routes away from your home and business to high, safe ground. Make sure your children are aware of the routes away from home.
  • Develop a plan for family pets and livestock
  1. Evacuation shelters may not allow animals
  • Designate a friend outside the area who family members can call if separated
  • Keep current important documents in a safe-deposit box

Prepare a Kit of Emergency Supplies

During an emergency, you will need supplies. Here are some of the basics you should have on hand.

  • Three-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person per day)
  • A three-day supply of packaged, dried, and canned food
  • First aid kit and essential medicines
  • Pet food and pet carrier
  • Manual can opener
  • Portable radio and flashlights with spare batteries in waterproof bags
  • An extra set of car keys
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members

Comprehensive Checklists

Read SDG&E's comprehensive checklists for your home, at work and in your car.