Emergency Guidelines

1- Get a Kit: Get a Starter Kit

Red Cross Store: Emergency Preparedness Kits

At minimum, the American Red Cross recommends that you have the following items in your emergency kit:

  • Water: One gallon per person, per day. A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation. A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home. Also, don't forget to provide for your pets.

  • Non-perishable Food: Easy to open and prepare food items are preferable. A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation. A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home. And, don't forget to provide for your pets.

  • First aid kit.

  • Medications.

Whether purchasing an official Red Cross preparedness kit or assembling your own, your kit should contain items that enable you to provide comfort for a wide range of events, from everyday scrapes to life-threatening emergencies. When creating a complete disaster kit, you should pack the following emergency supplies in an easy-to-carry container or backpack:

  • Water: One gallon per person, per day (A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation.  A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home).

  • Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-open and prepare food items (A three-day supply is recommended for evacuation. A two-week supply is recommended if you stay in your home).

  • Flashlight.

  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible).

  • Extra batteries.

  • First aid kit.

  • Medications and medical items (Seven-day supply).

  • Multi-purpose tool.

  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items.

  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies).

  • Cell phone with chargers.

  • Family and emergency contact information.

  • Extra cash.

  • Emergency blanket.

  • Map(s) of the area.


Consider the needs of all family members, including children and pets, and add supplies to your kit, accordingly. Additional suggested items include:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, syringes, cane).

  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers).

  • Games, activities and comfort items for children.

  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl).

  • Two-way radios.

  • Extra set of car keys and house keys.

  • Manual can opener.

  • Whistle.

  • N95 or surgical masks.

  • Matches.

  • Rain gear.

  • Towels.

  • Work gloves.

  • Tools/supplies for securing your home.

  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes.

  • Plastic sheeting.

  • Duct tape.

  • Scissors.

  • Household liquid bleach.

  • Entertainment items.

  • Blankets or sleeping bags.

Remember to check your kit throughout the year to ensure that goods have not expired and that food is still safe for consumption.


Mini Kit

If you are not able to get a full disaster kit, at minimum, we recommend that you create a "mini kit," containing the most necessary evacuation items. In the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, survivors revealed that the following items were most needed:

  • Sneakers: In the event that you have to evacuate your home suddenly, your feet should be protected to prevent injuries that could prevent you from escaping.

  • Flashlight: If the lights or power suddenly goes out, you can use your flashlight to illuminate walkways and exits.

  • Spare Glasses (if needed): For those who wear prescription eyeglasses, it is important to keep an extra pair of glasses in your kit, so that you won't unnecessarily harm yourself during an emergency.


2. Make a Plan

  • Families can and do cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Create a family disaster plan including an evacuation plan and a communication plan. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

  • Meet with your family and discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children and explain what to do in each case. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.

  • Pick two places to meet:
    • Right outside your home, in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire.
    • Outside your neighborhood, in case you can't return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.

  • Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Other family members should call this person and tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact's phone number.

  • Families should develop different methods for communicating during emergency situations, and share their plans, beforehand, with all those who would be worried about their welfare.

3- Be Informed:
  • Visit PrepareSoCal.org, a website created by the American Red Cross that has step-by-step guides on how to get ready for disasters, including earthquakes, fires, tsunamis, and mudslides, as well as links to disaster preparedness classes in your area to learn more.

  • Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get information, whether through local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels. Know the difference between different weather alerts, such as watches and warnings and what actions to take in each.

  • When a major disaster occurs, your community can change in an instant. Loved ones may be hurt and emergency response is likely to be delayed. Make sure that at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR, and knows how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). This training is useful in many emergency situations. To register for an American Red Cross course.