The Great CA Shakeout: Are you prepared?


City of Oakley staff recently participated in The Great California Shakeout, which is an exercise to help prepare for a response to a real earthquake. Such an event is very likely to occur in the coming years and is not a matter of “if” but “when.” Here is a brief video of actions you should take in the event of an earthquake.

This should serve as a reminder to us all that each individual and family should be prepared for such an event and not expect immediate aid from the federal, state, county or city government for up to 3 days or more. Having a 72-emergency kit prepared and practicing how your family will respond to such an event is critical. Be prepared!


A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages.

Prepare and maintain an emergency kit with enough supplies to be self-sufficient for at least three days and preferably up to one week.

The kit should include:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • One-week supply of water
  • One-week supply of non-perishable food and a manual can opener
  • Alternative cooking source
  • A first aid kit and handbook
  • A-B-C multipurpose fire extinguisher
  • Extra medication for those who need prescription drugs. A small cooler for ice if any of your
    medications require refrigeration. (check with your pharmacist to find out how long each medication can be stored and replace as necessary)
  • Adjustable pipe or crescent wrench to turn off the gas and water supply
  • Chlorine bleach and instructions for purifying water
  • Blankets or sleeping bag for each family member
  • Candles and matches. If you must use candles, use extreme caution due to the risk of fire. Keep candles away from small children and do not leave candles unattended
  • Personal hygiene items – toothbrush and toothpaste, denture products, toilet paper, tissue, paper towels, soap, wash cloth and hand towel, sun block, insect repellent, wet wipes, deodorant.
  • Essential supplies for particular family members (e.g., disposable diapers, pet food). Extra glasses, hearing aid batteries, canes, walkers, wheelchairs and other medical equipment with back-up power supplies
  • If you don’t have one, get a phone that is not cellular and does not use household current. If you have no electricity, an old-fashioned phone will be valuable
  • An extra set of house and car keys
  • Some cash and an extra credit card
  • Large and small trash bags with ties
  • One complete change of clothing and footwear for each family member, sturdy shoes or workboots, raingear, hat and gloves, thermal underwear, sunglasses.

A Word About Pets and Disasters
If you must evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind. Due to state health and safety regulations, shelters, including Red Cross shelters, cannot accept animals, except for assistance animals. Plan where and how your pets will be cared for in advance. You might, for example, contact possible hotel destinations to find out what their policies are regarding pets. Ask if they make exceptions during emergencies. Keep important pet items, food, medications, leashes and carriers in an accessible place. Planning and preparation will enable you to evacuate with your pets quickly and safely. For more information, contact the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or the American Red Cross.


About Kevin

Mayor - City of Oakley, Data Center Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit and Transplan
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