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Your preparedness makes a difference!

The City of Santa Cruz is lucky enough to be subject to relatively few natural hazards. We've had our share of floods and fires and, of course, earthquakes and even a tsunami. As a citizen, being prepared for all hazards with an emergency preparedness kit will not only help you during a disaster, it will also help the city. When you are prepared for disaster, you will likely not require City resources and assistance immediately following a disaster which means the City recovers stronger and faster.

Why Prepare?

Get a Kit

The first step to emergency preparedness is making a kit. A basic kit should include the following items for EACH member of your family:

  • Battery powered flashlight and extra batteries
  • Non-perishable food (enough for each person for a minimum of 72 hours/3 days)
  • Drinking water (1 gallon, per person, per day, for a minimum of three days)
  • Durable shoes and socks
  • Dust/debris mask
  • Change of clothes (long pants, long sleeved shirt, underwear)
  • Copies of any prescriptions (medicines, eyeglasses, etc.) 

Additionally, your kit should also contain:

  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit/medical supplies (medical gloves, gauze, band-aids, medical tape, scissors, tweezers, over the counter medications, etc.)
  • Tools (wrench and pliers)
  • Garbage bags, toilet paper/moist towelettes
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Pens (including permanent markers) and paper
  • Can opener
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Cash

This is a basic list and should in no way limit your kit(s) especially if you have special considerations in your family such as pets (you'll need pet food, maybe a toy, and extra water) or infants and young children (diapers, wipes, toys or books). You may consider maintaining multiple kits and keeping one in your car or office or wherever you spend the majority of your day. 

You can get more information on making a kit from FEMA. (click the link to the left)

Make a Plan


Discuss with your family ahead of time where you will meet and who you will notify in case of a disaster. If you are not together, it is best if you elect one or two out of state relatives or friends to be your family's emergency contact. They should be the contact point and your family members should know how to get a hold of them in the event of an emergency. 

FEMA has a great printable plan organizer.

Know where to get local news about breaking disasters.

Don't Depend on Phone Lines Working...

During a disaster local phone lines, including cellular phone connectivity, may be affected and it is usually easier to reach an out of state number than an in-state number. This contact will be able to relay information between family members while also keeping all the information in one place. Often, text messages will get through heavily trafficked lines. Make sure your family agrees on, and has contact information for these individuals! 

Do Ask About Plans Already in Place

Your employer may already have a plan in place for a disaster. Don't be shy, ask what it is! Your child's school should have a plan, too.  Make sure you know what questions to ask about them


More Videos on Preparedness for Specific Populations