Reduce Your Risk with Awareness and Preparedness

Lately, Mother Nature has given us unfortunate reminders that the time to prepare for an emergency or disaster is now. Early into California’s fire season, wildfires have already destroyed homes and taken lives. Just this week almost two years to the date of the 2014 Napa earthquake, we saw a deadly 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Italy which has no doubt left Californians wondering if we are next.

While we cannot control what Mother Nature has in store, we can control how we prepare for it. A key to preparing for the next disaster is to be aware of what you may be at risk for. Do you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes? Is your home at risk for wildfire? Are you living in a flood zone? If you are unsure what risks you may be exposed to, you can use the MyHazards tool which is designed for the general public to discover hazards in their area (earthquake, flood, fire, and tsunami) and learn steps to reduce personal risk. To see which hazards you may be vulnerable to, click here.

Once you are aware of your potential risks, the next step to take is to prepare. While the way to prepare will differ based on your risks, here are some simple steps anyone can take before the next disaster strikes:

10 Ways You Can Prepare

  1. Identify Your Risk
  2. Create a Family Disaster Plan
  3. Practice Your Disaster Plan
  4. Build a Disaster Supply Kit for Your Home
  5. Prepare Your Children
  6. Don’t Forget Those with Special Needs
  7. Learn CPR and First Aid
  8. Eliminate Hazards in Your Home and the Workplace
  9. Understand Post-9/11 Risks
  10. Get Involved, Volunteer!

Informative video on disaster preparedness from  

For more tips, tricks, brochures and videos to help you learn what you can do to ensure you are ready for what Mother Nature has in store, visit You can also come out to the annual California Day of Preparedness on August 27th in Old Sacramento to learn preparedness hands-on and see public safety and first responders in action.


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Monica Vargas

Monica is an Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). She has been involved in the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Valley Fire, Butte Fire, historic drought, Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, 2017 winter storms, North Bay Fires, Camp Fire, Ridgecrest Earthquake, 2020 Puerto Rico earthquake EMAC PIO, 2020 fire siege and the COVID-19 pandemic. She previously served Cal OES as an analyst in the executive, international affairs and technology offices.

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