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Preparedness for Homeowners


A Disaster can happen at any time, without warning. Disasters can result from a catastrophic flood, wildfire, earthquake or storm. Regardless of the cause, you might be forced to leave your home or be confined there. You might be without some or all of your normal basic services such as water, gas, electricity or telephone. Emergency response professionals will be inundated with calls and you might be required to fend for yourself until help arrives. Knowing what to do is vital.

Before a Disaster Strikes

  • Consider the kinds of disasters that could affect you.
  • Communicate with the entire family the safest way to protect themselves for each kind of disaster.
  • Know where the community shelters are and how to get there. Communicate with the entire family what their responsibilities are for getting to the shelter.
  • Check your insurance coverage to make sure you’re properly covered. Typically, flood damage is not covered on a standard homeowner’s policy.
  • Designate a family member that is outside of the immediate area as your family contact, and notify them that you have done so. Make sure that the entire family knows who the contact is in case the family is separated.
  • Use a checklist such as the Red Cross Family Disaster Plan to prepare
  • Make sure that you record all basic information about each member of the family on a form (see FEMA form) that is kept with your Emergency Disaster Supply Kit. In addition each member of the family should complete a personal copy of the information in the form suggested by FEMA.
  • Gather supplies for your Emergency Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Create a Home Inventory following the suggestion by the California Department of Insurance.
  • Remember to include pets in your planning.

When the Threat of a Disaster Approaches

  • You may be required to evacuate by the authorities. If not, decide whether you will evacuate or stay. If you live in a mobile home, it is always best to evacuate.
  • If you are staying, plan to remain indoors or go to your local community storm shelter as soon as possible.
Home Inventory Guide
A step-by-step guide to creating a home inventory, by the California Department of Insurance.
Your Family Disaster Plan
A brochure on planning ahead with your family in case a disaster should strike.
Family Emergency Plan
A Ready Responder Family Emergency Plan to fill out and keep on hand in case of an emergency.
Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit
This brochure includes instructions and a checklist for creating a supply kit to have on hand in case a disaster should strike.