Emergency Preparedness

County Residents Encouraged to Sign Up For Alert LA County Emergency Notification System

Los Angeles County has an emergency mass notification system used to contact County residents and businesses via recorded phone message, text message, or email  in the event of critical situations. The system, called Alert LA county, allows the County’s Emergency Operations Center to notify residents and businesses during emergencies providing necessary information, such as evacuations.

The system compiles 911 databases, contacting land-line telephone numbers whether listed or unlisted. If the call is picked up by an answering machine, the system will leave a recorded message. If the number dialed is busy or does not answer, the system will redial the umber in an attempt to deliver the message.

The Alert LA County system uses geo-mapping where each telephone number or e-mail address can only be associated with one street address in the system. Each telephone number and e-mail address will be contacted when the street address it is associated with is impacted by a disaster or emergency.

To receive notifications for cellular, Voice over IP numbers and e-mail addresses, residents and businesses can register here.


County Deems March 20-26 “Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Week”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, in a joint motion with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, announced today the County will support various Federal and State agencies in declaring March 20-26 “Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness Week” and directed the County’s Office of Emergency Management to report back to the Board on an outreach and education campaign.

“Over the past decade, I have worked to ensure that the County has a tsunami emergency plan and that it is continually updated based on new scientific data and the most current technologies,” said Supervisor Don Knabe.  “Given the tragic events in Japan, now is the time to remind our residents, particularly those in our beach communities, about the importance of being prepared and having a plan in place for their homes and families.”

Tsunami Advisory for Los Angeles County Coastline Ends

UPDATED: If you would like to make a donation to the American Red Cross, your gift will support the disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami throughout the Pacific.

UPDATED: The Tsunami Advisory that was issued for Los Angeles County coastal areas following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake has ended.

A Tsunami Advisory has been issued by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) West Coast Alaska Warning Center located in Palmer, Alaska, for the Los Angeles County coastal areas following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck northern Japan.

An advisory means that a tsunami is capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is imminent or expected. Significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory, but these strong currents could affect possibly local conditions, including swimming, coastal structures and small crafts.

The current intelligence indicates three-foot surge may impact the coastlines of Los Angeles County. The impact of this event has the potential to lasting 10-12 hours beginning at 8 a.m. PST and up till 5-7 p.m. PST. Mariners are advised to use caution and monitor the National Weather Service (NWS) Tsunami Warning website along with news updates. Persons in the tsunami advisory coastal areas should move out of the water, stay off the beach and proceed to higher ground areas. Those in harbors and marinas should follow U.S. Coast Guard and Harbor Master recommendations.

At the present time, there are no closures of Los Angeles County beach areas and no additional emergency actions have been recommended at this time. The Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) with support from the Department of Beaches and Harbors will continue to monitor the situation in coordination with the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA). Los Angeles County Fire Lifeguard Operations in Santa Monica has not closed any beaches, but will be on patrol and advises beach patrons to be safe and to refrain from going into the waters.

To find out more information on tsunamis and how to prepare for them, please visit www.espfocus.org or www.noaawatch.gov.

L.A. County Fire Department to Assist in New Zealand Earthquake Search and Rescue

The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s 74-member California Task Force 2 will deploy to New Zealand to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts following yesterday’s reported 6.3 magnitude earthquake, Supervisor Don Knabe announced today.

“The Los Angeles County Fire Department is highly prepared and equipped to deal with a natural disasters,” said Supervisor Knabe. “Given the devastating events that have occurred in the New Zealand, I am proud that Los Angeles County has been called upon to share our expertise in assisting with relief efforts and helping to save lives.”

The task force was requested by the US Agency for International Development and the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. The task force has already begun staging at the Fire Department’s USAR facility in Pacoima, and will be departing for Christchurch, New Zealand this evening.

Winter Storms Slam Los Angeles County

Update: A small craft advisory warning has been issued for Catalina Island, Palos Verdes, Long Beach, and the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Wind speeds of 21-33 knots are expected to produce hazardous wave conditions to small crafts. Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels should avoid navigating in these conditions.

Winter storms continue to blanket Los Angeles County with heavy rain, wind, mudslides and flash flooding, with the brunt of the storm system expected to hit early Wednesday morning.

Evacuation orders were issued today by the Foothills Unified Incident Command for 147 residences in La Canada Flintridge and 85 residences in La Crescenta due to the possibility of debris flows resulting from forecasted rain storms in the area. Residents are urged to follow the evacuation orders as a safety precaution.

Flooding and damage has been minimal along Los Angeles County beaches and Santa Catalina Island. Some County facilities including parks and courthouses have been affected by the heavy rains which have caused flooding and trees to topple over.

The Department of Public Health has tips on pre-planning for an emergency and cleaning up after disaster strikes in order to best protect one’s health. The storms that have struck this week have already caused evacuations, unfortunate damage to homes, and power outages, underlining the importance for every resident to be prepared.

The 10 Essential Items, as recommended by the Emergency Survival Program in LA County’s Office of Emergency Management, include:

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Cash and Important Documents
  4. Clothes
  5. Flashlight
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Medicine
  8. Radio
  9. Toiletries
  10. Tools

These essential items will help ensure that people have access to basic essentials when other resources may not be available during an emergency. It is also vital that families put together a Communications Plan, such as a pre- planned place to meet and a designated out-of-state contact, in case family members are separated or at work or school when a disaster strikes.

Click here to locate your nearest fire station to obtain free sandbags.

Residents are urged to continue to monitor news broadcasts, or visit the CARE website for further updates as this series of storms approach.

County Launches Specific Needs Awareness Planning Disaster Registry

To better prepare County residents for natural disasters, the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management has announced the launch of the Specific Needs Awareness Planning (SNAP) voluntary disaster registry.

The SNAP registry is an Internet-based system that will allow residents to provide information, which will be kept confidential, to public safety officials about their access or functional needs. SNAP does not guarantee priority response to registrants, but assists emergency response officials in planning and responding to the requirements of people with access and functional needs such as those relating to physical, medical, sensory, cognitive or age-related conditions, during a disaster by integrating database and mapping technology together.

To register for SNAP, visit http://snap.lacounty.gov and click on “Register Now.”

Los Angeles County Seeks Repairs To Orange County Runway

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has joined a regional effort to secure $17 million in Federal funding to repair the cracked and deteriorated runway surface at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, the main entry point for rescue workers and disaster supplies that will come into LA County after a major disaster.

Although the base is located in Orange County, the runway at Los Alamitos is the only military facility between Ventura County and San Diego County that is able to accommodate large transport aircraft – the type needed for personnel and supply delivery after a disaster. The runway surface is cracked and deteriorated to a point where there are loose chunks which can be sucked into a jet engine and cause the engine to explode after ingestion. This condition recently caused Air Force One to land at Long Beach Airport instead of the more secure facility at Los Alamitos and will prevent planes full of disaster supplies from landing there unless it is repaired.

Under today’s action, Supervisor Don Knabe asked his colleagues to formally support the request for $17 million to repair the runway and give the Southern California region a fully functioning airfield during a disaster.


Are fireworks legal in Los Angeles County? How do you escape from a rip current? Should you be worried about sharks at the beach? The Los Angeles County Fire Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department, Lifeguard Division answer all your questions to help keep you safe this summer season!

L.A. County Emergency Survival Guide Is Now Available On-Line In Spanish

In coordination with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Office of Emergency Management has published a comprehensive guide to emergency preparedness intended to help the residents of Los Angeles County better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

The County’s Emergency Survival Guide is now available on-line in both English and Spanish at http://www.lacounty.gov website’s homepage in the Hot Topics in LA County, Residents, Business and Publications sections.

The Emergency Survival Guide contains 100 pages of helpful tips and information for residents to prepare for fires, floods, earthquakes, pandemic flu, terrorism, extreme weather, and tsunamis. There is space to record household emergency plans including out-of-state contacts, family evacuation gathering points, and the location of utility shut-offs. The Emergency Survival Guide also features checklists for gathering emergency supplies that will help individuals, families, pet owners, businesses and communities survive and recover after a major disaster. Additional information on preparing for disasters is also available on-line at www.espfocus.org

Residents and business owners, including persons with access and functional needs may also call 211 LA County for emergency preparedness information and other referral services. The toll-free 2-1-1 number is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. 211 LA County services can also be accessed by visiting http://211la.org

Los Angeles County Has A Brand-New Fire Station – In Orange County

In 2005, the City of La Habra contracted with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection and emergency medical services. At the time, this was a first for the Fire Department, to reach beyond L.A. County’s boundaries to provide its services to a community in neighboring Orange County.

Part of the new service agreement called for the creation of a fourth fire station to provide additional fire protection and emergency medical services to residents in the Cities of La Habra, La Mirada, and parts of unincorporated area of South Whittier.

This week was the dedication of Fire Station 194, a new facility along Beach Boulevard, which is well positioned to answer the growing annual volume of 3,600 emergency calls for the City of La Habra, and 3,000 emergency calls for the City of La Mirada.

The City of La Habra shared in the cost by paying for 50 percent of the land purchase, design, and construction costs to bring this $3.5 million fire station to reality.