Disasters happen any time and any where. And when disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond. A brushfire or hazardous material spill could mean instant evacuation. An earthquake, flooding, mud slides or any other disaster could cut off basic services – gas, water, electricity and telephones – for days. Would your family be prepared to cope with the emergency until help arrives? Your family will cope best by preparing for a disaster before it occurs.

Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross chapter to:

  • Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community,
  • Ask how you would be warned,
  • Find out how to prepare for each.

Meet with your family:

  • Discuss the types of disasters that could occur,
  • Explain how to prepare and respond,
  • Discuss what to do if advised to evacuate,
  • Practice what you have discussed.

Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster:

  • Pick two meeting places:
    • A location that is a safe distance from your home in case of fire,
    • A place outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home,
  • Choose an out-of-state relative or friend as a “check-in-contact” for everyone to call.

Complete these steps:

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone,
  • Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity,
  • Install a smoke detector on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries two times each year,
  • Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards,
  • Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information and training.

Meet with your neighbors:

  • Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster,
  • Know your neighbor’s skills (medical, technical),
  • Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as the elderly or disabled,
  • Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.

After a disaster, local officials and relief workers will be on the scene, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. Stay calm. Keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles and follow all instructions from emergency officials and relief workers. Protecting family, friends and neighbors will always be your first priority.


Lou Rosenberger, Realtor | CalBRE #01955420 | 415.518.5286

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor CalBRE #01955420

3701 Buchanan Street, San Francisco, California 94123