The San Francisco Bay Area is a region that is highly vulnerable to natural hazards like earthquakes, wildfires, and severe weather. ABC7 has gathered resources and tips to make it easier for you to access preparedness information all in one place.
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Experts believe that the Northern California area is one of the most seismically active areas of the state. The overall probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake striking the Greater Bay Area in the next 30 years is 63 percent. Unfortunately, most residents are not prepared to protect their families, homes and finances. Preparing now will help you survive and recover and get back to normal after the next damaging earthquake.
TAKE THE EARTHQUAKE QUIZ|
CEA's new alliance with the American Red Cross can help you take simple steps to be ready when the time comes-- We're in this together, Northern California, so get prepared! Here are the simple steps you can take:
GET A KIT |
Keep basic supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate. For a list of supplies and more details, go to: www.PrepareSoCal.org/tips-tools/get-a-kit/. For an Earthquake Safety Checklist, go to: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240216_Earthquake.pdf
MAKE A PLAN
Identify out-of-area emergency contacts. Decide where to reunite with loved ones after a disaster in case phone lines are down. Write your plan on an emergency contact card and store in your phone along with important numbers for emergency resources in your area. For more details, go to: www.PrepareSoCal.org/tips-tools/make-a-plan/.
Discuss how to prepare and safely respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, work and play. Learn how notification systems in your area will work. Learn more by going to: www.PrepareSoCal.org/tips-tools/be-informed.
CONSIDER EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE
Most residential insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage - a separate earthquake policy is required. Without earthquake insurance to help cover the costs of repairs and other expenses that come with catastrophic damage, you will pay out-of-pocket to fix your home, to replace your personal property, and to live and eat elsewhere.
The California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed, privately funded organization that provides catastrophe residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss.
Why CEA? Five reasons to buy:|
If your home suffers catastrophic earthquake damage, the CEA can provide you with the strength to rebuild. With nearly $10 billion in claim-paying power, supported by the service expertise of its participating insurance companies, the CEA could cover all of its claims if the 1906 San Francisco, 1989 Loma Prieta, or 1994 Northridge earthquake reoccurred today.
|Excellent financial ratings. CEA's financial strength is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company (a company that rates insurance companies). Expert service. CEA policies are available exclusively through CEA's participating insurance companies, which handle CEA-policy applications, renewals, billing, and claims. Rates based on science, not profit. By law, CEA rates must allow it to remain financially sound and to pay all its covered claims. CEA rates are based on the best available science for assessing earthquake risk and do not include any amount for profit. Not tied to government budgets. California's budget issues have no impact on the CEA's ability to pay its claims, because the CEA is a privately financed entity and receives no money through the state budget. Without earthquake insurance, the cost of any damage is your cost. If your CEA policy claim exceeds your deductible, you don't actually have to pay the deductible before claim-payment eligibility is triggered. For more about CEA earthquake insurance policies and premiums and to see a list of insurance companies that sell CEA earthquake insurance go to: www.EarthquakeAuthority.com.|
PRACTICE HOW TO DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON|
During an earthquake, know how to drop to the ground, take cover under sturdy furniture, and hold on to that furniture until after the shaking stops. Learn more by going to (www.ShakeOut.org).
SECURE YOUR HOME'S STRUCTURE AND CONTENTS |
Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation. Bolt and brace water heaters, gas appliances, bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs. Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sleep or sit. Brace overhead light fixtures. Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets - store heavy items closest to floor.
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During a major disaster you may have questions about how to access essential services. Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency. Instead, dail 211. The United Way has established a system to help people with non-emergency services during crisis. By using 211, you'll help keep lines open for those who need urgent attention.
Source ABC7 News
Following a major earthquake you may be wondering if it is safe to stay in your home or office. If the disaster is large enough you may be on your own to make that determination. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney has important information on what you need to know to make that decision.
Source ABC7 News
After a major earthquake, it is hard to know if you should turn off the gas to your home. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney tells you what you need to know before you do anything.
Source ABC7 News
Once the shock wears off, the victims of a big disaster will have to begin dealing with their insurance companies. 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney tells us that those who want the best settlements can expect to put in a lot of work.
Source ABC7 News
Getting medical help during a major emergency may be difficult. The SF Fire Department demonstrates the basics of first aid from a first responder. After a major quake, you may need to control bleeding, treat shock/burns/broken bones, or even help trapped victims. This video shows you how to take care of victims until they can make it to a hospital.
Source ABC7 News
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|DETERMINE ESCAPE ROUTES
Find two ways out of each room in your home and know your neighborhood evacuation routes. Designate an emergency meeting location outside the fire/hazard area and determine an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation.
Sources American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, SFFD
|REMOVE FIRE HAZARDS AND INSTALL SMOKE ALARMS
Keep items that catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot and stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Create Defensible Space: Defensible Space is the buffer you create by removing dead plants, grass and weeds. This buffer helps to keep the fire away from your home.
Sources readyforwildfire.org, prepare.org, NFPA (PDF)
|STOP, DROP AND ROLL
If your clothes catch on fire, STOP where you are, DROP to the ground and ROLL over and over to smother the flames. Remove all burned clothing. If clothing adheres to skin, cut or tear around burned area. Call 9-1-1 from a safe location. If you are trapped in a burning building, stay near a window and close to the floor. If possible, signal for help.
Sources 72hours.org, CDC, sparky.org
|GET OUT AND STAY OUT
Get out - leave your home as quickly and safely as possible. Make sure to check door handles with the back of your hand before opening a door. If it is hot, look for an alternate escape route. Go to your designated meeting place. Call the fire department from a neighbor's house or a cell phone once you're safely outside.
Sources American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, USFA FEMA, NFPA (PDF)
|DECIDING TO STAY OR GO: WHEN TO EVACUATE
Leave as soon as evacuation is recommended by fire officials to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. Don't wait to be ordered by authorities to leave. Evacuating early also helps firefighters keep roads clear of congestion, and lets them move more freely to do their job. In an intense wildfire, they will not have time to knock on every door. If you are advised to leave, don't hesitate!
Plan several travel route options in case one route is blocked by the fire or by emergency vehicles and equipment. For more information on preparing your family, pets and property for wildfire, see the Ready for Wildfire "Are You Set?" brochure. Go to a designated public shelter if you have been told to evacuate. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.
Sources CALFIRE, ready.gov
Natural gas leaks can cause an explosive and flammable atmosphere inside a building. If you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line, or if you suspect a leak, shut off the main valve (see video) and open all windows and doors. Never use candles or matches if you suspect a leak. Do not turn on electrical switches or appliances. Identify the main shutoff valve, located on the gas line coming into the main gas meter. To turn gas off, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction. When the lever crosses the direction of the pipe the gas is off.
Sources readyforwildfire.org, ABC7 News
|HOME DEPOT AND KIDDE
Home Depot and Kidde are proud partners with ABC7's Prepare NorCal initiative and our Operation 7: Save A Life program. Through a series of fire and carbon monoxide safety messages, Kidde and ABC7 work to increase public awareness about fire and carbon monoxide safety. This year, in partnership with participating Home Depot Stores, they want to invite you out to one of their Safety Saturday events on November 3rd. Check here to find an event at a participating store near you.
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Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. When a flash flood warning is issued or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family.
Sources American Red Cross Bay Area, 72hours.org, CDC
Severe storms can cause landslides, flooding, uprooted trees, and downed utility lines. Call 3-1-1 for information on free sandbags to protect your property from flooding.
Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library - even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
A local earthquake may generate tsunami waves that can reach shore in minutes. If you are on the beach or other low-lying area close to the ocean or bay, immediately evacuate by walking to higher ground. If officials issue a tsunami warning and order evacuations, you hear the Outdoor Warning System, the earth shakes so much that you can't stand, shaking lasts longer than 20 seconds, or you notice water receding from the shoreline, walk to higher ground immediately.
Sources CDC, TsunamiReady - NOAA
|SAFE WATER SOURCES IN THE HOME
If you do not have enough water stored, there are sources in your home that may provide safe, clean water for drinking purposes: the water drained from the water heater faucet (if the water heater has not been damaged), water dipped from the tank of the toilet (not the bowl - the water in the bowl can be used for pets) or melted ice cubes.
|STAY OUT OF FLOOD WATERS, BY FOOT OR BY CAR
Stay out of flood waters, if possible. Even water only several inches deep can be dangerous. If you have to walk through water, use a stick to check the firmness of the ground ahead of you. Avoid moving water. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. Attempting to move a stalled vehicle in flood conditions can be fatal.
|DAMAGING HAIL, THUNDERSTORMS AND LIGHTNING
If you are indoors when a storm with large hailstones strikes, stay there. Because large pieces of hail can shatter windows, close your drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent the wind from blowing broken glass inside. Stay away from skylights and doors. If you are outside when lightning strikes, move immediately to a place of shelter.
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|MAKE A DISASTER PLAN
Identify two meeting places after a disaster, an out-of-area phone contact, and escape routes out of your home and neighborhood. For chemical spills, airborne illnesses or biological hazards, be prepared to Shelter-in-Place if needed.
Sources American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, 72hours.org, ready.gov, prepare.org
|BUILD A DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT
Have a supply of water (one gallon per person/per day), food and personal items for all members of your household (minimum of three days up to two weeks recommended). Have a flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Alternatively, the American Red Cross and other companies sell pre-made supply kits of various sizes to make preparedness simple. Prepare kits for your home, workplace, and car.
Sources American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, 72hours.org, CDC, prepare.org
|FIRST RESPONDERS: FAMILY, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
Family, friends and neighbors are often the true first responders after a disaster. First check yourself for injuries then assist others based on your level of first aid training. Only call emergency systems if there is a life-threatening situation. Volunteers will play a crucial role in recovery efforts -- get involved.
Sources American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, 72hours.org, cal EMA
Turn off and unplug appliances and computers. Leave one light on to indicate when power has been restored. Avoid using candles, as they are fire hazards. Do not use a gas stove for heating or operate generators indoors (including the garage.) Both could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If a traffic signal is not working, treat it as a stop sign. PG&E: (800) 743-5000 or www.pge.com
Cordless phones rely on electricity which may be unavailable after a disaster. Be sure to have a standard landline phone on hand. Also, text messaging on mobile phones might be best if lines are jammed. CHILDREN: Teach them to dial their home telephone number and Emergency 9-1-1. Role-play with children on what to say when calling Emergency 9-1-1.
Source American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
Mass transit systems may be vulnerable to both accidents and terrorist incidents. Mass transit customers should be aware and vigilant. Be well informed and know your surroundings.
|PLAN FOR YOUR PETS
It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of an evacuation, so plan ahead. Prepare a list of family members, friends, boarding facilities, veterinarians and pet-friendly hotels to shelter your pets in an emergency.
Sources American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, prepare.org
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211 Bay Area
During a disaster, 211 provides critical information about evacuation routes, food and shelter, as well as job search and permanent housing support during long-term recovery. 211 is an easy to remember, toll-free phone number that connect callers with local community services, such as food, shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality child care and more. 211 is confidential and available 24 hours a day in more than 150 languages. Problem dialing 211? Call 800-273-6222 (TTY 415-808-4440 or 711).
In a major disaster, it might be several days before vital services are restored. Find out how you can prepare yourself and your family for an emergency. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster.
AlertSF is a text-based notification system for San Francisco's residents and visitors. AlertSF will send alerts regarding emergencies disrupting vehicular/pedestrian traffic, watches and warnings for tsunamis, flooding, and Citywide post-disaster information to your registered wireless devices and email accounts.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross helps prepare communities for emergencies and keep people safe every day thanks to caring people who support our work.
American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
Empowering people in the San Francisco Bay Area to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies. Lists options to obtain training in first aid, CPR, AED, lifeguarding, swimming and babysitting in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Bay Area Earthquake Alliance
The Bay Area Earthquake Alliance coordinates earthquake awareness and preparedness activities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Alliance is a part of the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA), a statewide alliance linking organizations and individuals that provide earthquake information and services.
BayPrep - Fritz Institute
Fritz Institute's BayPrep (formerly the Bay Area Preparedness Initiative) seeks to improve disaster preparedness in the San Francisco Bay Area and ensure that vulnerable communities have been taken into account in disaster planning.
CAL FIRE wants to help prepare residents and their home for the possibility of a wildfire, how to prepare, and when to evacuate.
Websites http://www.fire.ca.gov/, http://www.readyforwildfire.org
CDC - CDC Emergency Preparedness & Response Site
The CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response website is CDC's primary source of information and resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.
Phone (800) CDC-INFO
TTY: (888) 232-6348
CEA - California Earthquake Authority
The CEA is committed to reducing injury, loss of life and property damage from earthquakes by motivating Californians to properly prepare themselves and their residences.
CERT - Community Emergency Response Teams
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
DisasterAssistance.gov provides information on how you might be able to get help from the U.S. Government before, during and after a disaster.
CGS - California Geological Survey
Providing information and advice to protect life and property from natural hazards and to promote a better understanding of California's diverse geologic environment.
Statewide "alliance of alliances" linking the public information efforts of organizations and individuals that provide earthquake information and services.
FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency
Disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, education, and references.
Phone (800) 621-FEMA/ TTY (800) 462-7585
NERT - San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Team
A community based training program dedicated to a neighbor-helping-neighbor approach.
NFPA - National Fire Protection Agency
The mission of the international nonprofit NFPA, established in 1896, is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.
OES - California Office of Emergency Services
Protecting lives and property by effectively preparing for, preventing, responding to, and recovering from all threats, crimes, hazards, and emergencies.
Prepare.org - The American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
Developing an effective network to build collaboration and interaction among and within sectors to prepare and respond to pandemic and other large scale emergencies within the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Emergency preparedness guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, lists and explains specific threats and response.
Phone 1(800) 480-2520
Our City& Ready For Anything. ResilientSF advances San Francisco's overall resilience by providing a framework, and road map, that coordinates plans, programs, resources and relationships that increase the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to collectively solve problems and capture opportunities.
Address 1011 Turk Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone (415) 558-3800
San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SF DEM)
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) manages disaster preparation, mitigation, and response; 9-1-1 dispatch; and homeland security grant distribution for the City and County of San Francisco. During an emergency, activates and manages the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), coordinates public information at the Joint Information Center (JIC), manages resource allocation and mutual aid, and liaisons with federal, state, regional, local, and private sector partners.
Address 1011 Turk Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone (415) 558-3800
San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services
A little preparation can make a big difference in an emergency situation. Find out more
and get checklists to help you get ready at home, at work, and in your community.
Phone (650) 363-4790
ShakeOut - Get Ready to ShakeOut!
California is considered at higher risk of earthquake hazards compared to the rest of the country. The ShakeOut has been created to help people and organizations get better prepared for major earthquakes, and practice how to be protected when they happen.
Totally Unprepared is what happens when you put forward-thinking state agencies, earthquake geeks, social media nerds, a web analytics genius, a professional filmmaker, a hot firefighter or two, and a bunch of unsuspecting Californians in a blender and hit frappe
United Way of the Bay Area
United Way of the Bay Area is harnessing creativity, expertise, and philanthropy to cut poverty.
USGS - U.S. Geological Survey
Federal source for science about the Earth, its natural and living resources, natural hazards, and the environment.
Phone (650) 853-8300
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|American Red Cross: Shelter View
When disaster strikes know when and where shelters have been opened to provide assistance. Shelter information is updated from the NSS every 30 minutes.
The FEMA App contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services) and Shelters, general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster, and the FEMA blog.
Instant safety, security, and peace of mind. Take care of everything from getting back your lost stuff to tracking your family.
The City of San Francisco's Department of Emergency Management presents: SF Heroes. Earn points and gain Super Power Badges as you successfully complete tasks in the real world. Empower yourself to be a real-life hero in your community by learning how to prepare and protect yourself and your family in the event of an emergency.