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Having a plan can be your best protection during a disaster. It is your responsibility.
Where will your family be when disaster strikes? They could be anywhere - at work, in the car... the list goes on. Since Los Angeles is spread across 470 square miles, it is especially important that your family members and those who depend on you are prepared. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children, elderly family members and pets are safe?
Disasters and major emergencies can strike quickly and without warning. They can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services - water, gas, electricity or telephones - were cut off? Families can cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team.
Discuss with those you live with the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes and other emergencies. Create a plan and post it where everyone will see it. It's only too late if you fail to plan.
Follow these seven steps to safety:
1. Find out what disasters could occur (see LA Emergencies and Threats
2. Create, practice and maintain your family disaster plan.
3. Plan for family members with special needs and for your pets.
4. Pick an "out-of-state" contact for family member to call if separated by disaster.
5. Do a home-hazard hunt - check for anything that can move, fall, break or cause fire.
6. Prepare a disaster supply kit.
7. Prepare an emergency kit for your vehicle.
The Emergency Management Department has put together a "Comprehensive Guide to Family Preparedness." Download it here. For more information on how to prepare your home, contact the City of Los Angeles Fire Department's Disaster Preparedness Unit at (818) 756-9674 or visit Readyla.org, the City of Los Angeles' official readiness, response and recovery website for families, businesses and communities.