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Family emergency preparedness

Creating your family emergency plan

Emergencies may strike when your family members are away from home, so find out about plans at your workplace, school, or anywhere else you and your family spends time. After creating a household emergency plan you should take the time to review it with your family every six months. Steps to take in creating a household emergency plan include the following:

  • Meet with household members and discuss the dangers of possible emergency events

  • Discuss how you and your family will respond to each possible emergency

  • Discuss what to do in case of power outages or personal injuries

  • Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room

  • Teach adults how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches. (If you do turn off natural gas service to your home especially after an earthquake, you must have PG&E staff restore to avoid explosion)

  • Designate an out-of-state friend or relative that all family members will call if separated

  • Post the out-of-state emergency contact numbers near all telephones (it is often easier to call out-of-state during an emergency than within the affected area)

  • Learn how to use fire extinguishers

  • Have a battery powered or hand crank AM/FM radio or TV

  • Instruct household members to turn on the radio or television and listen to KZST 100.1FM, KRSO 1350AM, or KFTV 50 for emergency information. KCBS 740AM, and KBBF 89.1FM (Spanish) will also have local and regional information

  • Pick two meeting places, one near home and one outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after an emergency

  • Take a Basic First Aid and CPR Class. Contact American Red Cross for more information. You should also consider Community Emergency Response Team or CERT classes

  • Consider starting a neighborhood COPE Program

  • Keep family records in a water and fireproof safe. Inexpensive models can be purchased at most hardware stores. Keep extra cash for emergencies too

  • Be prepared to check on neighbors who have physical limitations or may need help

    evacuating because of age, special needs, or health problems

  • Prepare an emergency supply kit to take if you have to evacuate

  • Build your home, car, and office Emergency Preparedness Kits for survival

  • Be prepared to take pets if forced to evacuate

  • Use camping supplies if needed for cooking and shelter if power is out

  • Do not grill or light fires indoors

  • Be careful of gas leaks before lighting matches or fires

  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots to avoid getting cut by debris

    Emergency Notification

    Emergency Alert System (EAS): The City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County have access to the Emergency Alert System, the partnership with local media in which emergency messages are broadcast giving emergency instructions for citizens over local and regional media outlets.


    Shelter-in-place involves simply staying in your house or other building, in order to avoid harm. In the event of a chemical spill or release you may be instructed to remain indoors and shut off outside air intake to avoid harmful fumes that may have been dispersed into the air. Listen to local radio and TV for emergency instructions.


    If Evacuation of certain areas of the city or county becomes necessary due to an emergency situation, you will be instructed to leave your home and neighborhood and seek a location of safety. Shelter sites and evacuation routes will be designated. Listen to local radio and TV for emergency instructions.

    For more information contact the City of Santa Rosa Emergency Preparedness Program at 707-543-3711 or visit the web page at cope.srcity.org