Emergency Preparedness for Individuals and Families

Getting Started

Most people don’t like thinking about disasters, and, when they do, building an emergency supply kit and making a family emergency plan can seem like huge projects. But they are actually quite simple if if you take one step at a time. Here are three easy steps to get started:

  1. Get informed. Learn about the risks we face in Santa Barbara County and what you can do to prepare for them. Jim Caesar’s presentation (below) is a great introduction.
  2. Share what you have learned. Talk to a family member, friend, or colleague about the most interesting things you learned. Two or three minutes – that’s all it takes!
  3. Fill out one section of one form. It doesn’t matter where you begin. Start with a one-page form, or one section of a longer form.

There is no doubt that someone in your household is going to go shopping soon. A very easy way to get started is to print one of the Disaster Supply Kit forms here and take it with you. You don’t have to buy everything on the list—just a few items to begin with. That will get the ball rolling.

Emergency Preparedness Presentation

James Caesar, UCSB Campus Emergency Manager, explains how you can prepare yourself and your family from the most common types of disasters in Santa Barbara County.

Emergency Planning Forms

Filling out some of the forms listed here will help you and the members of your household take care of your needs during a broad range of emergencies, from temporary power outages to natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and floods.

Radio Ready

During an emergency when the power is out and when critical and timely information must get out to the general public, the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services will utilize satellite equipment to regularly communicate with designated radio stations in the county that have generators and can continue to broadcast. These stations will transmit this information over their airways in English or Spanish.

Since these stations may change from time to time, periodically check the following page on the official County website for the current list of stations that are part of the Radio Ready System:

Santa Barbara County emergency managers recommend all residents get a hand-crank radio.

Emergency Alerts

Sign up for emergency email and text alerts from the County Office of Emergency Management. You will receive emergency warnings and announcements about emergencies as soon as they are posted.

Tsunami Safety Tips for Boaters

If you live on a boat or are a recreational boater, learn what you should do if a tsunami is on its way. These simple tips could save your boat and your life.

Information Resources

Thanks to Roy Dugger, Aware and Prepare Manager, City of Santa Maria for starting this evolving list of information resources on disaster preparedness.