Emergency Preparedness

Nobody likes to think about emergencies, but they are a fact of life. Sometimes it's just you and your family, and other times it may be the entire city. Here are several important actions you and your family (or you and your business associates) can take to make sure you are prepared for an emergency:

1. Make a Family Plan: Prepare an emergency plan and conduct a drill.

2. Prepare an Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit to last at least two weeks.

3. Earthquake Safety: Learn to prepare and respond to an earthquake.

4. Wildfire Safety: Learn to prevent wildfires when engaging in routine activities.

5. How to Report Medical Problems and Urgent Situations

6. Know Where to Get Information: during an emergency, it's important to understand the larger situation (evacuations, curfews, updates about food and shelter, etc).

7. More Information: here are some other sources of preparedness information.

1. Make a Family Plan

  • In case you are separated in an emergency, choose 2 places to meet: right outside your home in case of sudden emergency, and outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home
  • Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person, and make sure the contact information is saved on cell phones.
  • Consider any special needs for children, seniors, and people with disabilities
  • Be prepared for the most likely emergencies for the area.
  • Prepare an emergency plan and conduct a drill with family members

2. Prepare an Emergency Kit

(Red Cross: Survival Kit Supplies)

  • Water: 1 gallon per person per day (2-week supply).
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (2-week supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Disposable dishes and utensils
  • Household bleach (for sanitizing)
  • Flashlights and lanterns or light sticks
  • Radio: battery-powered or hand-cranked
  • Batteries
  • Whistle on a lanyard
  • Spare eyeglasses, personal medical supplies (like insulin) and medications (2-week supply)
  • Emergency blankets, sleeping bags (optional tent)
  • First-aid kit: either buy a kit or make your own (Red Cross: Make a First Aid Kit)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Personal emergency contact list and community emergency resources (listed in item 5 below)
  • 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)
  • Paper and pens or pencils
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Pet supplies: canned food with can opener, water, bowls; medications; sturdy leashes and carriers; pet beds
  • Laminated current photos of family members and pets with details on the back in case they are missing
  • Cell phones with chargers (auto chargers work even when you don't have electricity)
  • Extra cash (in small bills; making change may be difficult)
  • Maps of the area
  • Gasoline for vehicles in case of evacuation
  • Complete change of clothing, including long sleeved shirt, long pants and extra underwear
  • Rain gear, towels, gloves, hats, work shoes
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape
  • Games and activities for children

3. Earthquake Safety

  • While the Earthquake is happening:
    • Get under a desk or table if possible, otherwise shelter against an interior wall. Hold on to it until the shaking stops
    • Hallways tend to be the safest places, while kitchens and garages are the least safe
    • Avoid windows, hanging objects, mirrors, and tall furniture
    • When outdoors, move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings, and electrical wires
    • When driving, pull over and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside your vehicle until the shaking stops
  • Preparing for earthquakes:
    • Strap your water heater and any tall furniture that could topple
    • Hang mirrors and artwork on closed hooks
    • Install secure latches on cabinet doors
    • Keep baby cribs away from windows and tall unsecured bookshelves that could slide or topple
    • Know where shutoff valves are located for water and gas, and keep necessary tools at hand
    • Have security lights in each room in your house
    • Keep a list of medications, allergies, special medical equipment, and contact info for doctors, pharmacists, and family members

4. Wildfire Safety

  • Create a defensible space around your home. Clear brush away from your house in a 100-foot radius in fire-prone areas, and keep space between any trees planted within that zone
  • Be careful during routine outdoor activities (mowing, weeding) that can spark a fire
  • Don't drive your vehicles onto dry grass or brush
  • Follow the rules when burning debris on your property
  • Find out more on the CalFire Website.

5. Reporting Medical Problems and Urgent Situations

  • Call 911 for extreme emergencies — like downed power lines, medical emergencies, or other life-threatening situations.
  • Medical & Emergency Services Contacts:
    • Mendocino Coast District Hospital: 707-961-1234 700 River Drive, Fort Bragg
    • Fort Bragg Police Department (non-emergency number): 707-964-0200 250 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg
    • Fort Bragg Volunteer Fire Department: 707-961-2831 141 N. Main St, Fort Bragg
    • Highway Patrol (Ukiah): 707-467-4040
    • Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (Ukiah): 707-463-4411 or (Fort Bragg substation): 707-964-6308
    • PG&E: 800-743-5002 to report outages and get updates on your location
    • Water/Sewer Emergencies:
      • Report a Water or Sewer Problem: report a problem to the City on our Website
      • Water problems: If you need your water turned off for broken pipes or plumbing fixtures, and if it is during the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday, please call 1-707-961-2825. If your problem is outside these hours, please call the Fort Bragg Police Department, at 1-707-964-0200
      • Sewer problems: If you have sewer backing up in your residence or property and you are not using any water or appliances that use water (that could cause the backup) and if it is during the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday - Friday, please call 1-707-961-2825. If your problem is outside these hours, please call the Fort Bragg Police Department, at 1-707-964-0200
    • Marine Emergencies:
      • U.S. Coast Guard: 707-964-6611
      • Noyo Harbor Manager: 707-964-4719
    • American Red Cross (Sonoma & Mendocino Counties): 707-463-0112 (or 707-577-7600) Staff will dispatch local volunteers from this number. Alternate number: 800-876-4766

6. Know Where to Get Information during Emergencies

  • Radio Stations:
  • City Web Site: you can find information on the home page about any emergency or disaster situation that affects the city. City Manager Tabatha Miller is the emergency services director for the city, and her office will place updates on the Web site as applicable
  • County Web Site: County's Emergency Operations Plan
  • CalTrans: call 800-427-7623 for road conditions, or visit the CalTrans Road Conditions page
  • Emergency Alert System and Tsunami Alerts: the sirens sound for imminent dangers like tsunamis.
  • If you have Web access, you can listen to audio feeds from Mendocino County Fire and EMS, CAL FIRE and CHP.

7. More Background Information

PG&E Emergency Preparedness and Safety Tips For Customers

PG&E puts much focus on being prepared before an emergency or a natural disaster, and the company urges its customers to do the same.

Downed power lines:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others well away from them and immediately call 911, then notify PG&E’s 24-hour emergency and customer service line at 1-800-743-5002.
  • If your vehicle comes in contact with a downed power line, stay inside. The safest place is in your car as the ground around your car may be energized. Honk the horn, roll down the window and yell for help. Warn others to stay away as anyone who touches the equipment or ground around the vehicle may be injured. Use your mobile phone to call 911. Fire department, police and PG&E workers will tell you when it’s safe to get out of the vehicle.
  • If there is a fire and you have to exit a vehicle that has come in contact with downed power lines: Remove loose items of clothing. Keep your hands at your sides and jump clear of the vehicle, so you are not touching the car when your feet hit the ground. Keep both feet close together and shuffle away from the vehicle without picking up your feet.

Be prepared before storms arrive:

  • Have battery-operated flashlights and radios with fresh batteries ready. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages.
  • If you have a cordless phone or answering machine that requires electricity to work, have a standard telephone or cell phone ready as a backup.
  • Keep your cell phone charged, and have a portable charging device handy.
  • Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent food from spoiling.
  • If you have a stand-by generator, notify PG&E and make sure that it’s installed safely to avoid risking damage to your property and endangering PG&E workers who could be working on power lines in your neighborhood. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found on the PG&E website.

If outages occur:

  • Candles pose a fire risk. Avoid using them during a power outage. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • If your power goes out, unplug or turn off electric appliances to avoid overloading circuits and fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.

Before calling PG&E about a power outage: 

  • Sign up for PG&E’s outage alerts, which provide customer updates via phone calls, texts or emails. Go to your My Energy account or look at our Outages Map for more information.
  • Check to see if other neighbors are affected. This will confirm if an outage is impacting the neighborhood or just your residence.
  • If you don’t see your outage listed on PG&E’s outage maps, report your outage to PG&E's Electric Outage Information Line at 1-800-743-5002. Note that PG&E’s phone lines may become very busy during major storms.