Knowing what to expect and the steps to take in an emergency is the key to protecting yourself and your family. Disasters can happen anytime and anyplace. When a disaster strikes you may have only a short time to respond or prepare for the consequences. An accidental release of a hazardous chemical could mean a need for sheltering-in-place or an immediate evacuation. A winter storm could confine your family to your home. A flood could cut off basic services in the community; things like gas, water, and electricity for days. The effects of a disaster can be sudden and devastating.
Disaster Specific Preparedness
There are important differences among potential emergencies that should impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learning what to do in different situations and developing and customizing your plans for your local hazards, the locations frequented by members of your household, and the specific needs of household members (including animals) will help you reduce the impact of disasters and may save lives and prevent injuries. Discover hazards that exist in your area and learn how to reduce YOUR risk!
Following a major disaster or emergency, the emergency services we depend on, such as fire and police services, may be unavailable for extended periods of time. For at least 72 hours, you and your family may need to rely on yourselves and your neighbors for first aid, firefighting, search and rescue, and general support. Neighborhood groups prepared to do these things may make the difference between life and death.
Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it’s best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.
Basic Emergency Supply Kit:
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask
- Wrench or Pliers
- Moist towelettes
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers
Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified.
Here are some ways to better position yourself against storm-related challenges.
- Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit as recommended by the American Red Cross.
- Sign up for San Bernardino County’s Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) alerts.
- Consider purchasing flood insurance, many homeowner policies do not cover flood damage.
- Create a list of items ahead of time to take with you if you are asked to evacuate. Consider items such as keys, cash and credit cards, photos, insurance papers, computers, prescriptions, phone chargers, and pet supplies.
- Keep debris clear from rain gutters, downspouts, and drains so water can flow and drain properly.
- If your home and yard is prone to erosion in heavy rains, consider implementing erosion control mechanisms such as sand bagging and wattles.
- Have a supply of sandbags and other flood prevention materials such as plastic sheeting, plywood, and tarps on hand.
- Check the roof for leaks, damage, or displaced tiles and pay special attention to areas where separation could occur, such as around the chimney.
Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in your area.
Flood Warning – Flooding in your area is imminent or already occurring.
Flash Flood – A sudden, violent flood. Flash Floods often come as a wave, and with little to no warning.
Properly placed sandbags will redirect water, mud, and debris but they will not completely seal out water. Sandbags should be used for low-flow protection (up to two feet). Protection from higher flows requires a more permanent type of structure.
Where Can I Get Sandbags?
The City of Yucaipa provides sand and empty bags for filling – FREE OF CHARGE – at each of the following locations: Fire Station No. 1: 11416 Bryant Street (909-797-1000), Fire Station No. 2: 32664 Yucaipa Blvd. (909-797-2313), and Fire Station No. 3: 34259 Wildwood Canyon Rd. (909-795-3048). Residents will need to bring their own shovels and be prepared to fill the sand bag themselves. If you arrive at the Fire Station and no one answers, the station firefighters are likely committed to an emergency call for service – please call the Fire Station before returning for sand bags. For more information about how to use sandbags, download the U.S. Army Corp of Engineer’s “Sandbagging Techniques” brochu
How Many Sandbags Do I Need?
For 100 Lineal feet of a sandbag wall:
One foot High: 600 – 800 bags, 10 – 13 cubic yards of sand
Two feet High: 1,400 – 2,000 bags, 23 – 33 cubic yards of sand
Three feet High: 2,200 – 3,400 bags, 37 – 57 cubic yards of sand
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This will prevent embers from igniting your home.
- Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
- Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
- Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
- Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
- Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
- Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
- Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
- Stay aware of the latest news and updates from your local media and fire department. Get your family, home and pets prepared to evacuate.
- Place your emergency supply kit and other valuables in your vehicle.
- Move patio or deck furniture, cushions, door mats and potted plants in wooden containers either indoors or as far away from the home, shed and garage as possible.
- Close and protect your home’s openings, including attic and basement doors and vents, windows, garage doors and pet doors to prevent embers from penetrating your home.
- Connect garden hoses and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water. Firefighters have been known to use the hoses to put out fires on rooftops.
- Leave as early as possible, before you’re told to evacuate. Do not linger once evacuation orders have been given. Promptly leaving your home and neighborhood clears roads for firefighters to get equipment in place to fight the fire, and helps ensure residents’ safety.