Personal Readiness

The best response to any disaster is what you do before it occurs. Disasters can strike quickly - many times without any warning. Prepare yourself to survive, especially during the first 72 hours after an emergency, disaster, or crisis.

The City of Stockton makes every effort to provide you with emergency instructions and information during a disaster. You can access the information on your TV and radio (1530 AM) by listening to announcements being broadcast through the Emergency Alert System (EAS). You may have heard or seen announcements on radio and TV stations testing the Emergency Alert System.

However, in the case of a surprise event or situation, there may not be time to broadcast the information, or you may not have access to a TV or radio.  You need to be prepared for the unexpected and know how to react quickly.

The following are suggestions for you and your family to follow in making sure you are prepared for a possible disaster:


Emergency Checklist

  • Call the Office of Emergency Services or American Red Cross.
  • Find out which disasters could occur in your area.
  • Ask how to prepare for each disaster.
  • Learn the main evacuation routes for your area.
  • Ask about special assistance if you are elderly or disabled.
  • Ask if your workplace has an emergency plan.
  • Learn the emergency plan for your children's school or day care center.
  • Have a basic telephone; one that does not require electricity to operate. Cordless phones may not work during a power outage.
  • Have a battery operated radio to listen for emergency instuctions (1530 AM). Store the batteries outside of the radio so that they do not corrode.


Escape Plan

In a fire or other emergency, you may need to evacuate your house, apartment, or mobile home on a moments notice. You should be ready to get out fast.  Develop an escape plan:

  • Draw a floor plan of your residence.
  • Using a black or blue pen, show the location of doors, windows, stairways, and large furniture.
  • Indicate the location of emergency supplies, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, collapsible ladders, first aid kits, and utility shut off points.
  • Next, use a colored pen to draw a broken line charting at least two escape routes from each room.
  • Finally, mark a place outside of the home where household members should meet in case of fire.
  • Be sure to include important points outside, such as garages, patios, stairways, elevators, driveways, and porches.
  • Practice evacuation drills with all family members at least two times a year.


Your Plan


1. Create a personal-family disaster plan

  • Meet with household members and discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies

  • Discuss how to respond to these disasters.

  • Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injury.

  • Draw a floor plan of your home and mark two exits from each room.
  • Learn how to shut off electricity, water, and gas.
  • Post emergency phone numbers near telephones.
  • Teach children how and when to call " 911 ", police, and fire.
  • Instruct household members to turn on the radio (1530 AM) to receive emergency information.
  • Pick one out-of-state and one local friend or relative to contact if separated by a disaster (It is often easier to call out of state rather than in the affected area).
  • Teach children to make long distance telephone calls.
  • Pick two meeting places: 1) a place close to home in case of a fire and, 2) a place outside of your neighborhood in case you cannot return after a disaster.
  • Take a Basic First Aid and CPR Class.
  • Keep family records in a water and fire proof container.
  • Make arrangements to stay out of town in cases where you may be evacuated.
  • If you have pets, make special arrangements for their care. Pets are not allowed in public shelters.
  • Create a checklist for your utility shut-offs, including gas, electricity and water. This is especially important if you suspect a leak.


2. Prepare an Evacuation Kit

Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffel bag. Include the following:

  • A 3-day supply of water for each person (1 gallon per person per day). Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers. Identify the storage date and rotate every six months.
  • A supply of  nonperishable food, such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, vitamins, granola bars, trail mix, and nuts.
  • A non-electric can opener.
  • Clothing, including sturdy shoes, rain gear.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • First aid kit that includes gauze pads, bandages, antiseptic, soap and adhesive tape.
  • A list of prescription medicines.
  • An extra pair of glasses.
  • A battery powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
  • Credit card and cash.
  • An extra set of car keys.
  • A list of family physicians.
  • A list of important family information.
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Matches.
  • Personal hygiene items.


3. Prepare an Emergency Car Kit

  • Battery powered radio and extra batteries.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Blanket.
  • Booster cables.
  • Fire extinguisher ( 5lb ABC type ).
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Bottled water and high energy food.
  • Shovel, tire repair kit, and flares.


4. Home Hazard Hunt

In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.

  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections.
  • Fasten shelves securely.
  • Place large heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds.
  • Brace overhead light fixture.
  • Secure water heater.
  • Repair cracks in ceilings or foundations.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products away from heat sources.
  • Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and gas vents.


5. If You Need to Evacuate

  • Listen to a battery powered radio for the location of emergency shelters.
  • Follow instructions of local officials.
  • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoe.
  • Take your Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Lock your home.
  • Use travel routes specified by local officials.


6. If You Are Sure You Have Time

  • Shut off water, gas, and electricity, if instructed to do so.
  • Let others know when you left and where you are going.
  • Make arrangements for pets; they will not be allowed in public shelters.


Disaster preparedness is essential for everyone. Please take the time to develop a plan with your family. Visit the the links below for additional helpful personal safety planning tips.


If you have questions about the City of Stockton Office of Emergency Services, contact Stockton Fire Department Administration or the Office of Emergency Services.

In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.



External Links

Ready.Gov - Provides disaster preparedness tips

San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services (SJ- OES)

American Red Cross

California Emergency Management Agency (CALEMA)

F.E.M.A.- Federal Emergency Management Agency


This City of Stockton webpage last reviewed on --- 3/21/2011