Emergency Preparedness in Sonoma County
An important part of emergency preparedness is a community educated about how to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Whether it be earthquakes, fires, or floods, emergency workers will not be able to reach all of us right away. However, we can take steps to minimize the potential danger, damage and disruption for us, our families and our community.

Earthquakes, floods and fires are hard to prevent, but you can prepare for such emergencies. This is a guide to help you prepare for these events.  
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Disaster Kits
  • Preparing for Earthquakes
  • Fire Safety
  • Floods
  • Blackouts
  •  Important Public Health and Public Safety Phone Numbers

    Sonoma County Department of Emergency Services-707-565-1152 911
    Emergency Only- 911
    Sonoma County Public Information Hotline -707-565-3856
    Sonoma County Sheriffs Department -707-565-2511
    Sonoma County Public Health Information Line -707-565-4477
    CalTrans (highway conditions)1-800-427-7623

    American Red Cross Sonoma County Chapter -707-577-7600 or visit their website
    California Poison Control Center 1-800-876-4766
    Hospitals(* denotes trauma center)

    Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital*
    1165 Montgomery Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95405

    Sutter Medical Center

    3325 Chanate Road Santa Rosa, CA 95404

    Petaluma Valley Hospital

    400 N. McDowell Boulevard Petaluma, CA 94954
    Emergency Room 707-778-2634

    Palm Drive Hospital

    501 Petaluma Avenue Sebastopol, CA 95472

    Kaiser Medical Center

    401 Bicentennial Way Santa Rosa, CA 95403

    Healdsburg District Hospital

    1375 University Avenue Healdsburg, CA 95448

    Sonoma Valley Hospital

    347 Andrieux Sonoma, CA 95476

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    Disaster Kit:

    In the event you need to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you, you probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you and your family will need. Every household should assemble a disaster supplies kit and keep it up to date. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items a family would probably need to stay safe and be more comfortable during and after a disaster. Disaster supplies kit items should be stored in a portable container(s) as close as possible to the exit door. Review the contents of your kit at least once per year or as your family needs change. Also, consider having emergency supplies in each vehicle and at your place of employment. ?Three-day supply of nonperishable food and manual can opener.

    *Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person, per day).
    *Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
    *Flashlight and extra batteries.
    *First aid kit and manual.
    *Sanitation and hygiene items (hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, and toilet paper).
    *Matches in waterproof container.
    *Extra clothing and blankets.
    *Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils.
    *Photocopies of identification and credit cards.
    *Cash and coins.
    *Special needs items such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solution, and hearing aid batteries.
    *Tools, pet supplies, a map of the local area, and other items to meet your unique family needs. If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat during or after a disaster. Think about your clothing and bedding needs. Be sure to include one set of the following for each person:
    *Jacket or coat.
    *Long pants and long sleeve shirt.
    *Sturdy shoes.
    *Hat, mittens, and scarf.
    *Sleeping bag or warm blanket.
    Supplies for your vehicle include:
    *Flashlight, extra batteries, and maps.
    *First aid kit and manual.
    *White distress flag.
    *Tire repair kit, booster/jumper cables, pump, and flares.
    *Bottled water and non-perishable foods such as granola bars.
    *Seasonal supplies: Winter - blanket, hat, mittens, shovel, sand, tire chains, windshield scraper, florescent distress flag; Summer – sunscreen lotion (SPF 15 or greater), shade item (umbrella, wide brimmed hat, etc).
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    Prepare a Home Earthquake Plan

    • Choose a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
    • Practice DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. Teach children to DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
    • Choose an out-of-town family contact.
    • Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.
    • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Keep your training current.
    • Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.
    • Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
    Eliminate Hazards
    • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
    • Install strong latches on cupboards.
    • Strap the water heater to wall studs.
    Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit For Home and Car
    • First aid kit and essential medications.
    • Canned food and can opener.
    • At least three gallons of water per person.
    • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
    • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
    • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
    • Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
    • Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.
    Know What to Do When the Shaking Begins
    • DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
    • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
    • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
    • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.
    Identify What to Do After the Shaking Stops
    • Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
    • Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.
    • Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it's leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
    • Listen to the radio for instructions.
    • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
    • Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
    • Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
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    Make Your Home "Fire Safe"

    • Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
    • If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas, too.
    • Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace all batteries once a year.
    • Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
    • Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years.
    • Consider having one or more working fire extinguishers in your home. Get training from the fire department in how to use them.
    • Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.
    Plan Your Escape Routes
    • Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
    • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
    • Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.
    • Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.
    Escape Safely
    • Once you are out, stay out! Call the fire department from a neighbor's home.
    • If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.
    • If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is warm, use your second way out.
    • If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the window. If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.
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    Preparing for Floods

    Know What to Expect
    • Know your area's flood risk--if unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
    • If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
    • Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.
    Reduce Potential Flood Damage By . . .
    • Raising your furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
    • Consult with a professional for further information if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken.
    Floods Can Take Several Hours to Days to Develop
    • A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area.
    • A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
    Flash Floods Can Take Only a Few Minutes to a Few Hours to Develop
    • A flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area.
    • A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.

    Prepare a Family Disaster Plan
    • Check to see if you have insurance that covers flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.
    • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.

    Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing . . .
    • First aid kit and essential medications.
    • Canned food and can opener.
    • At least three gallons of water per person
    • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
    • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
    • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
    • Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)
    • Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places . . . a friend's home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.

    When a Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .
    • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
    • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

    When a Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .
    • Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.

    When a Flash Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .
    • Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment's notice.

    When a Flash Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .
    • Or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
    • Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades . . . they are there for your safety.
    • If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
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    Top Safety Tips for a Blackout

    • Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles!
    • Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
    • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.
    • Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
    • If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.
    • Listen to local radio and television for updated information.
    How Can I Prepare Before a Blackout Happens?
    Assemble essential supplies, including:
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • Portable radio
    • at least one gallon of water
    • a small supply of food.
    • Due to the extreme risk of fire, do not use candles during a power outage.
    If you have space in your refrigerator or freezer, consider filling plastic containers with water, leaving about an inch of space inside each one. (Remember, water expands as it freezes, so it is important to leave room in the container for the expanded water). Place the containers in the refrigerator and freezer. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold if the power goes out, by displacing air that can warm up quickly with water or ice that keeps cold for several hours without additional refrigeration.
    If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.
    If you use a computer, keep files and operating systems backed up regularly. Consider buying extra batteries and a power converter if you use a laptop computer. A power converter allows most laptops (12 volts or less) to be operated from the cigarette lighter of a vehicle. Also, turn off all computers, monitors, printers, copiers, scanners and other devices when they're not being used. That way, if the power goes out, this equipment will have already been safely shut down. Get a high quality surge protector for all of your computer equipment. If you use the computer a lot, such as for a home business, consider purchasing and installing an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). Consult with your local computer equipment dealer about available equipment and costs.
    If you have an electric garage door opener, find out where the manual release lever is located and learn how to operate it. Sometimes garage doors can be heavy, so get help to lift it. If you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home upon return from work, be sure to keep a key to your house with you, in case the garage door will not open.

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