March 2014 Earthquakes: Important Reminders to Be Prepared Now for Disasters and Emergencies


Earthquake Warning Sign logoPASADENA, Calif.—The recent earthquakes in March 2014 that have rattled much of Southern California serve as important reminders for everybody to be prepared now for disasters and emergencies at home, at work and in your cars.

Pasadena’s Public Safety officials urge everybody to be prepared now—or start preparing today—with emergency supplies, including “Go Kits” for homes, cars and your workplace; pre-determined evacuation plans for family and pets, and many other steps that will help you, your loved ones and animal companions survive in the days following a major disaster or emergency event.

Successful emergency preparedness means having enough food, water, medicine, first aid supplies, hygiene products, flashlights, batteries, clothing and other supplies for each person and pet in your household to last a minimum of three days to week, or longer, if possible.

It is important to remember that in the event of a widespread disaster or emergency, police and fire officials throughout the region may become quickly overwhelmed with 9-1-1 calls and you and your neighbors may be on your own, without assistance from first responders for hours or even days.

If you are not prepared, start by watching an informative, 12-minute disaster preparedness video posted at This important emergency preparedness video is available in English and Spanish, with captions and audio descriptions in both English and Spanish.

Additional disaster preparedness info is available at the following website, including a handy “Emergency Survival Guide” prepared by the County of Los Angeles.

The American Red Cross also offers an important website on preparing for disasters.  Visit

Locally, Pasadena officials urge all residents to sign up today for emergency alerts and other information from the City by joining the City’s Pasadena Local Emergency Alert System, or PLEAS.

PLEAS uses both text and voice messages to keep residents and community members in Pasadena informed in case of citywide or major emergencies.  Phone subscribers will receive a message with the latest information and safety instructions—that must be listened to in its entirety or the system will call you back.

Go to to register today.

Residents also should sign up to get Nixle public safety alerts from the City’s Police and Fire Departments. Be sure to define the geographic after that you want covered for alerts and the level, or type of messages you wish to receive.

The City of Pasadena also uses a variety of other social media accounts, especially Twitter, to send out alerts, including the following online pages and mobile handles:

During emergencies, the City will use its government cable access TV station, KPAS, to help broadcast emergency information.  Charter cable subscribers see KPAS on Channel 3 and AT&T U-verse subscriber can watch KPAS on Channel 99.

As part of your overall emergency prepared plans, public safety officials also recommend everybody should consider taking emergency preparedness training courses offered by the Pasadena Fire Department and/or the American Red Cross.  Learn more about the Pasadena Emergency Response Training (PERT) online at or by calling (626) 744-7276.

Pasadena residents and businesses with any power emergencies should call Pasadena Water and Power Department at (626) 744-4673.  For water-related emergencies, call (626) 744-4138.

Sign up today for PWP’s Outage Management System to get up-to-date alerts on your phone and by email regarding any power outages, visit

Other handy tips and suggestions: 

  • Make copies of important documents as part of your Go Kits.
  • Consider adding some comfort food and a few basic toys or board games for children any children in your group.
  • All pets will need their own portable shelters, or crates, in order to be easily transported and kept near you should you have to evacuate.
  • Make a habit of keeping your vehicles full of gas or fully charged as gas stations and charging sites might not be available.
  • Consider keeping a small amount of cash in your Go Kits as your regular ATM might be unavailable or out of cash and retail stores may not be able to process credit card transactions.
  • As you update and rotate supplies, consider increasing your emergency supplies, as appropriate, with things like extra tarps, tools, tents, a portable generator, toilet kits, large trash bags, fire extinguishers, blankets and heat sources.
  • Add a solar-based charging system to you inventory to keep your cell phones, tablets or other electronic devices charged during extended power outages.

Other website links and suggestions: 


In the event of a major disaster or emergency, use your battery-operated radio to stay tuned to local major news radio stations such as KNX, 1070 AM, or KFWB 98 AM


During rainy weather conditions, the Pasadena Fire Department,, has free sand and sandbags at two fire stations, Station 37, 3430 E. Foothill Blvd., and Station 38, 1150 Linda Vista Ave.  The sand and sandbags are available free to Pasadena residents for non-commercial purposes and are self-service.

Remember, it is best to have sandbags in place for flood-prone areas of your residential property before you need them.  During a serious storm, remember to call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies, including significant flooding.

During times of, or prior to, heavy rain, the public is also reminded to:

  • Clear debris and overgrowth from drainage channels and rain gutters before it rains
  • Keep cars charged or with full gas tanks; power outages might shut down gas pumps or charging stations
  • Stay away from storm drain channels and do not attempt to cross flooded roads
  • Never touch any downed utility lines; call 9-1-1 to report
  • Keep your disaster kit updated with flashlight and extra batteries; portable battery-operated radio; first aid kit and manual; emergency food and water for your family and pets; non-electric can opener; essential medications; sturdy shoes, socks & gloves; essential paperwork & emergency cash, and comfort items for children
  • Make sure your vehicles are in good repair; especially windshield wipers
  • Slow down while driving in the rain; allow extra travel time and use caution while braking and turning asgrease and oil have built up on roadways with lack of rain, making for slippery conditions in wet weather
  • Remember to turn off sprinklers, system controllers and timers as it is prohibited to irrigate landscaping during rainy periods
  • Use rain barrels to collect and reuse rain water

Even with this storm, California remains in drought conditions.  For more water conservation tips  For statewide drought information visit


Alternative Route to the Rescue

Your everyday commute may be interrupted by unexpected events preventing you from making it on time to your destination.  This raises the question, “what do I need if I have to unexpectedly shelter-in-place?”

Maybe it’s not weather that will affect your commute, but a traffic accident that might cause some delay in your day. The best plan is to save time by planning ahead:

Remember the time to plan is now, not later! Visit for a list of ways to be prepared for natural disasters. You can also share preparedness tips and thoughts using #PrepareAthon on Twitter or via discussion forums on the National Preparedness Community.

Off The Grid

A winter storm has caused a power outage in your home. Now what do you do? Since the length of the outage can vary from a few hours to several days, you need to plan to get by without utilities for at least three days.

Use FEMA’s “Going Off Grid: Utility Outages,” free, online activity module to reference simple steps to get prepared for an outage. This module also provides a food safety reference chart so you can know when to save food or when to discard it. Some utility outage checklist items include:

  • Document important phone numbers and vital power company information;
  • Locate and label your utility shutoffs; and
  • Have your disaster kit ready and stocked.

The “Going Off Grid: Utility Outages” activity module is part of FEMA’s “Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere” tools, which educate individuals about relatively easy steps to take to become prepared for all types of hazards. The tools are designed for anyone to use in coordination with local emergency preparedness partners to help better prepare for emergencies.

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Stay connected to the City of Pasadena!  Visit us online at; follow us on Twitter @PasadenaGov, and Instagram; like us on Facebook at; and subscribe to our YouTube channel at  Or call the City Service Center, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (626) 744-7311.