Ready Lancaster

Ready: Plan & Protocol

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Disasters can strike at any time, in any place. That's why it's important to be ready before a disaster happens so you can ride it out. The first step to making sure you and your family is ready for an emergency is creating an Emergency Kit and Family Plan. To help you and your family prepare for disaster, the City has outlined steps below to help you create your own emergency kit. 

Build a Kit 

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own foodwater and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)

Additional Emergency Supplies

Since Spring of 2020, the CDC has recommended people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu.

Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Storm Prep/Sandbags

Floods, even small ones, can have dire consequences.  A full-grown man can be knocked off his feet in as little as six inches of moving water, and flood waters can damage landscaping, homes, possessions, vehicles, and utilities.  While rainfall itself may not directly cause a flood, clogged storm drains and sewer systems can, sometimes leading to sinkholes or other road damage hidden beneath the pooled water.  In addition, heavy rains can trigger mudslides that can damage or bury property and possessions.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department knows that with Southern California's history of drought, rainstorms often drop more water than the hard, dry ground is capable of absorbing.  As a result flash flooding and mudslides, particularly in the flat desert areas of the Antelope Valley and in older areas with poor drainage, can and often does occur.

Most LA County Fire Stations have free sandbags and instructional materials for you to prepare and protect your property from flooding and mudslides. If you live in a flood-prone area (ex., water comes up over street curbs during a rainstorm, drainage channels have flowing water in them, storm drains back up and/or water collects on the street around them, front lawns pool water instead of draining off excess), or have a steep hillside adjacent to or on your property that may be prone to mudslides, take advantage now before the next big rainstorm hits.

For more information on erosion control, download the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works' A Homeowner's Guide to Erosion Control

Follow these links for additional preparedness resources:
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Coordinated Agency Recovery Effort (CARE)
Los Angeles County Fire Department

Other Considerations

Some members of your family or items in your house may require some additional planning to ensure everything and everyone is safe, protected and ready for an emergency.

Elderly & Disabled

Public Safety Downloads

Below you will find downloadable versions of Public Safety Office publications, as well as several from outside agencies. To download, either click on the link and choose "Save" when the dialog box appears, or right-click on the link and choose "Save As..."