The Laguna Beach Guide to Emergency Preparedness offers maps, checklists, and other information to help residents be ready for any kind of emergency.
What can I do now to be better prepared for disasters?
Know the hazards that may affect you at your home, work, or school. Use the dropdown menu below to learn more or you can find out more at CalOES.
Assemble an emergency kit. In a disaster, you may have to rely on supplies in your emergency kit for at least three days. Be sure to include supplies for any pets and anyone in your home with special needs. Learn more at ReadyOC.
Have a disaster plan for your household, including how people should contact each other if a disaster occurs and where you should meet.
Learn about your neighbors and how to help them. Know if your neighbors have any special needs, and be sure to check on them as soon as you can.
- Review your insurance coverage. Go to OC Public Works and Floodsmart National Flood Insurance Program for more information.
- Join Laguna Beach's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a group of volunteers trained by the Laguna Beach Police & Fire Departments to assist emergency responders during disasters. Training is free and offered at times throughout the year.
Prior to storm season and in advance of a storm, some helpful actions can mitigate the impact.
- Stay informed on up to date weather information.
- Clean your gutters and trim your trees. Drought-stressed trees may be more likely to shed limbs during severe storms.
- Check out our Storm Preparedness Workshop presentation.
- Plan for a power outage. Know where your flashlights and spare batteries are. Be sure your 72-hour emergency kit is stocked in case there is an extended outage.
- Plan for flooding. Keep sandbags on hand to control flooding around your house. They are available at Laguna Beach fire stations. They're free, however you must provide your own sand. If your business has a flood gate, be sure you know where it is and how to use it.
- Have an evacuation plan and an evacuation list so you know what to grab if you have to leave in a hurry.
- Make a family emergency plan in case you're not together when a storm hits or authorities issue a flood warning.
- Keep important numbers written down in your wallet in case you are separated from your phone.
- Make sure your car is rain-ready. Check your tires, car battery, headlamps, and windshield wipers. Keep your gas tank full.
- Talk to your neighbors. Know their plans, too, so you can help if necessary. Elderly neighbors, those with small children, or disabled residents may need extra help in severe situations.
Did you know that 88% of Laguna Beach is within the "Very High Fire Severity Zone"?
Many residents do not fully understand the impact that could result from wildfire. There may not be a lot of time to figure out who is home, what to take, where or when to go. Take personal responsibility and learn what you can do today!
- Wildfire Outreach Flyer - North Laguna
- Wildfire Outreach Flyer - Central Laguna
- Wildfire Outreach Flyer - South Laguna
Click here for more information on how to create defensible space around your property and request a consultation.
While Laguna Beach is at risk for many natural and man-made hazards, an earthquake is the event with the greatest potential for far-reaching loss of life or property, and economic damage. This is true for most of Southern California, since damaging earthquakes affect widespread areas, trigger secondary effects, and can overwhelm the ability of local jurisdictions to respond. Earthquake-triggered geologic effects including ground shaking, surface fault rupture, landslides, tsunamis, liquefaction, and subsidence. Earthquakes can also cause human-made hazards such as urban fires, dam failures, and toxic chemical releases.
The moderate-sized Northridge earthquake caused 54 deaths, more than 1,500 injuries and nearly $30 billion in damage. For days afterward, thousands of homes and businesses were without electricity; tens of thousands had no gas; and nearly 50,000 had little or no water. Approximately 15,000 structure were moderately to severely damaged, which left thousands of people temporarily homeless. Several collapsed bridges and overpasses created commuter havoc on the freeway system. Extensive damage was caused by ground shaking, with shaking-induced liquefaction and dozens of fires after the earthquake causing additional damage.
- Secure items, such as televisions, and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy, breakable objects on low shelves.
- Practice drop, cover, then hold on with family and coworkers. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Crawl only as far as needed to reach cover from falling materials. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops.
- Create a family emergency plan that includes an out-of-state contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated.
- Make an emergency kit or purchase the Laguna Beach specific emergency kit backpack - make sure to including three days worth of water and food per person.
- Consider obtaining an earthquake insurance policy. Standard homeowner's insurance does not cover earthquake damage.
- Drop, cover, then hold on like you practiced. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops. Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris.
- If in bed, stay there and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
- If inside, stay there until the shaking stops. Do not run outside.
- If in a vehicle, stop in a clear area that is away from buildings, trees, overpasses, underpasses, or utility wires/poles.
- If you are in a high-rise building, expect fire alarms and sprinklers to go off. Do not use elevators.
- If near slopes, cliffs, or mountains, be alert for falling rocks and landslides.
- If on the beach, and the earthquake knocks you off your feet, seek higher ground immediately.
Be Safe After
- Expect aftershocks to follow the largest shock of an earthquake.
- Check yourself for injury and provide assistance to others if you have training.
- If in a damaged building, go outside and quickly move away from the building.
- Do not enter damaged buildings.
- If you are trapped, cover your mouth. Send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting so that rescuers can locate you.
- If you are in an area that may experience tsunamis, seek higher ground immediately after the shaking stops.
- Save phone calls for emergencies.
- Once safe, monitor local news reports via battery operated radio, TV, social media, and cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions.
Tsunamis are ocean waves produced by earthquakes or underwater landslides. Tsunamis are often incorrectly referred to as tidal waves, but a tsunami is actually series of waves that can travel at speeds averaging 450 (and up to 600) miles per hour in the open ocean. Tsunamis are extremely rare but have the potential to be extremely dangerous. When you hear of a tsunami alert or warning, it is best to stay clear of low lying coastal areas and never go to the beach to check it out. History shows that when these great waves finally strike land, it can leave a wake of destruction in its path.