Disaster Preparedness – “Example” from the City of Berkeley, California


5 Critical Steps

  1. Make a plan for yourself, your family, or your household on how to evacuate your home, and where to meet following an earthquake.
  2. Arrange for a long distance telephone contact that everyone in your family can use to tell where and how they are.
  3. Prepare an emergency supplies kit for you and your family, enough for five days for each person.
  4. Prepare your home to survive an earthquake.
  5. Get to know your neighbors and organize your neighborhood.


Create a Disaster Plan

  1. Meet with your family, and discuss what to do in the face of different emergencies (fire, severe weather, earthquakes, etc.)
  2. Pick two places to meet: one right outside your home, and one outside your neighborhood
  3. Choose an out-of-state family contact. In a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance.
  4. Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.

For more information on creating a disaster plan, please check out this information from the Department of Public Health.

Starting a Neighborhood Group

  1. Get to know your neighbors socially.
  2. Host a presentation at your home (ask a firefighter, a police officer, or a disaster preparedness adviser (contact Berkeley’s Office of Emergency Services at 510.981.3473) to come give a brief presentation.
  3. Get the help of a mentor! BDPNN has mentors available to help you get started. You can email them at info bdpnnetwork.org or visit the website at www.bdpnnetwork.org. Don’t have a computer? Call 510.540.5616.
  4. Pass out info.
  5. Collect and share information.
  6. Encourage people to attend CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) classes (sign up online at the website listed in #2 above) such as Disaster First Aid, Fire Suppression, Search and Rescue, etc.

You can see the list of available CERT classes at this link.

Community Emergency Supply Program

Through a combination of Measure GG and grant funding, the City of Berkeley provides qualified neighborhood groups with a FREE cache of emergency supplies including a storage shed, generator, and much more.

Your neighborhood group can receive this free cache of emergency supplies if:

  1. Your group has been organized for at least three years or demonstrate group organization and sustainability.
  2. Your group has satisfied at least six of the nine steps of becoming a disaster resistant neighborhood.
  3. Your group has at least eight people trained and formed into Disaster Medical Operations, Fire Safety, and Light Search and Rescue teams.

You can read more about the requirements and application to access the cache here.