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Why Prepare?

If an earthquake started rumbling or you noticed smoke in the hills on your commute, what would you do first? Do you know which types of disasters affect Orange County the most and how to prepare for them?

More than 82% of U.S. residents are aware that emergency preparedness is important to handle disasters*. Yet of these, most have made little, if any, actual preparations! What about you? Are you ready?

All of us need to take a role in helping protect each other and our families and friends in the event of an emergency. From the Yorba Linda fires to the Laguna Beach landslides to ever-present earthquakes, our county continuously faces emergency situations.

Developed by ReadyOC for the Orange County community, this website contains step-by-step advice on how to prepare for disasters, will help you to be ready when the time comes and provides you with a resource for information on how to respond or recover during an emergency situation. Used in conjunction with information and instructions from other local and county emergency management agencies and organizations, the information on this site will give you what you need to be prepared.

We know that the next emergency is coming. We just don’t know when or what kind it will be. But we can – and must – prepare now for the next emergency. Our family, friends and community depend on it.

* Findings from 2009 Citizen Corps National Survey

Being prepared can reduce the fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do in the event of an earthquake and where to seek shelter during a fire. They should be ready to evacuate their homes and take refuge in public shelters and know how to care for their basic medical needs. You can reduce the impact of disasters by flood proofing, securing items that might shake loose in an earthquake, and taking other pre-emergency precautions.

Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property. If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster relief organizations will try to help you. But you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. You should know how to respond to severe weather or any disaster that could occur in your area, including earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, pandemic, flooding, terrorism and more. You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for three to seven days. This may mean providing for your own shelter, first aid, food, water and sanitation.

All of us need to take a role in helping to protect each other and our families and friends in the event of an emergency. In fact, every citizen in Orange County is part of a national emergency management system that focuses on the protection of people and property from all types of hazards. Think of the national emergency management system as a pyramid with you, the citizen, forming the base of the structure. The community, the state, and the national government also have roles.

You have a responsibility to protect yourself and your family by knowing what to do before, during and after an event.

Emergency Pyramid



Before an Emergency:

  • Know the risks and danger signs of potential emergencies.
  • Purchase insurance, including earthquake and/or flood insurance (not part of your homeowner’s policy).
  • Develop plans for what you and your family should do in case of emergency.
  • Assemble an emergency kit with supplies for every member of your household, including pets.
  • Volunteer to help others in your community as you are able.

During an Emergency:

  • Put your emergency plan into action.
  • Help others as you are able.
  • Follow the advice and guidance of officials in charge of the event.

After an Emergency:

  • Repair damaged property.
  • File insurance claims if necessary.
  • Take steps to prevent or reduce future loss.
  • Reassess your emergency plan and make appropriate changes.