Emergency Preparedness for Individuals and Families

Disasters disrupt the normal operations of life. Individuals and families should be prepared to care for themselves in the first 72-hours following a major disaster or emergency. There are three basic steps to preparing yourself for a disaster.

Emergency Preparedness

Get A Kit

After a disaster strikes, you will not have time to shop or search for supplies. If you gather supplies in advance, you and your family are better equipped for an evacuation or a home confinement. 

Create a Go Bag with essential evacuation items like a change of clothes, a pair of sturdy shoes, a flashlight, and a basic first aid kit. 

Pack or be prepared to grab additional items following the 6 P's for evacuation: 

  • People & Pets - Consider the special needs of everyone in your household. 
  • Papers & Phone Numbers - Have important documents organized so they are easy to take with you. 
  • Prescriptions, Vitamins, & Eyeglasses - Remember anything that supports your health. 
  • Pictures & Irreplaceable Items - This includes wedding albums, family movies, and memorabilia. 
  • Personal Computer - Take your laptops, hard drives, and any storage devices with important information.
  • Plastic & Cash - This includes credit cards, ATM cards, and any extra cash. 

Create a Stay Box with items to support your family in the event of a power outage or other emergency that interrupts normal life. You should include additional supplies like plastic sheeting, duct tape, dust masks, a manual can opener, and food and water for three days.

  • Include foods that won't spoil and don't need cooking.
  • Include high-energy foods and feel-good foods.
  • Include ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Include one gallon of water per person per day.

Consider having supplies at home, at your workplace and in your car. 

Make A Plan

You should have a family evacuation plan to escape your home in the event of a structure fire and a separate plan to escape your neighborhood in the event of a widespread disaster. The guidelines for both plans are similar:

  • Identify a meeting place outside your home or neighborhood.
  • Assign emergency contacts including one out-of-state contact.
  • Identify at least two ways out. 
  • Make special arrangements for small children or anyone in your household with limited mobility, disabilities, or other access and functional needs.
  • Incorporate your emergency supply kit into your plan.
  • Practice your plan regularly.

To help with your family emergency planning, the California Office of Emergency Services has developed a Disaster Ready Guide. 

Disaster Ready Guide Download

Be Informed

The County of San Diego has provided multiple resources to ensure that residents can stay informed in the event of an emergency.

Download the Poway CityApp. During an emergency event this free app will play a critical role in communicating with Poway residents by providing direct links to the latest city updates and key emergency resources.

Register for AlertSanDiego, the County's reverse 911 system. This registration associates your cell phone with your address for emergency alerts, landlines are automatically added to the database.

DoSDEmergencyApp Opens in new windowwnload the SD Emergency App to get valuable information before, during, and after an emergency. SD Emergency now includes ShakeReadySD (Beta) an earthquake early warning system.

Dial 211 or visit their website for the 211SanDiego Opens in new windowlastest information on health and social services as well as disaster alerts and resources. 

Pets and Livestock

The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services has developed preparedness guides for pets and livestock.