Creating a Family Disaster Plan

Disaster can strike quickly and without warning.  It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. City of Berkeley officials and disaster service workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.  This page was designed to provide information about how to be prepared in the event of a disaster or public health emergency.


City of Berkeley Public Health Division
1947 Center Street, Second Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Map to Public Health Division

510-981-5300 (Phone)   510-981-5395 (Fax)   510-981-6903 (TDD)

Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm

For more information about disaster preparedness for your family and community, click on the following link:

The following was adapted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community and Family Preparedness Programs.

In the event of a bioterrorist incident, you may be asked to shelter yourself in your home.  Families can--and do--cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team.  Follow the steps listed below to create your family's disaster plan.  Knowing what to do is your best protection as well as your responsibility.

5 Steps to Safety

1. Find Out What Could Happen to You

2. Create a Disaster Plan

3. Complete This Checklist

4. Practice and Maintain Your Plan 

5. Your Family Disaster Supply Kit


Find Out What Could Happen to You


Create a Disaster Plan 

Complete This Checklist 


Practice and Maintain Your Plan 

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Other Things You Should Do If Disaster Hits

1. Neighbors Helping Neighbors

2. Home Hazard Hunt

3. Evacuation

4. If you're sure you have time...

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Working with neighbors can save lives and property. The City of Berkeley offers CERT trainings to prepare neighborhoods to be self-sufficient in the event of a disaster. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. Know your neighbors' special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents can't get home.

Home Hazard Hunt

During a disaster, ordinary objects in your home can cause injury or damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example, a hot water heater or a bookshelf can fall. Inspect your home at least once a year and fix potential hazards.

Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.


If you're sure you have time....

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Emergency Supplies

Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least five days. Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit with items you may need in an evacuation. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as back-packs, duffle bags, or covered trash containers.


If Disaster Strikes

Check for Injuries

Listen to Your Battery-Powered Radio for News and Instructions

Remember to...


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