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You need a plan to stay and to leave. Whether due to a house fire, an earthquake or approaching wildfire, you may have to leave your home for a safer location. Shelter in Place. You may be sheltering on your property for an extended period of time, maybe even camping in the back yard. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a more in-depth 18-hour course taught throughout the year. Following a large scale disaster, be it an earthquake, fire or flood, you may have the option of remaining in your home or at least on your property. There may be situations, such as an approaching wildland fire, where you choose to, or are ordered to, leave your home.
Plan ahead and build an Evacuation Backpack, including items such as copies of financial records on a USB drive, extra eyeglasses, flashlight and small battery-operated radio. First, take a few minutes today and register your cell phones with the Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) of Marin County. Out of AreaIf you are not able to get a call through in our area, try an out-of-area call, as that is sometimes more successful. LandlineIf you, or a neighbor, have an original landline in your home, it may work when other digital systems are down. TextingEven if you do not have cell service, you may be able to text (SMS) since it operates on a different frequency. Hand-held RadioHand-held radios will work within your neighborhood but do require protocols and have limited range. It is important to collect and store your supplies so they are readily available in an emergency. If you are able to shelter in place in your home, this kit provides you with the items needed to stay warm, fed and safe. If you have to evacuate, this backpack will contain cash, important papers, change of clothes, and more. It is important that your family have a discussion about what to do in an emergency, how to get out of the house in a fire, and where to meet if you are separated. Make sure all members of the family have an emergency contact card in their possession at all times. The rule of thumb for water storage is 1 gallon of water per person (and per pet), per day.


ReadyMarin suggests, based on recent disasters, that you prepare for at least 3 days, and preferably 5-7 days, without power or utilities. Take CERT just for you and your family, or offer to be an emergency volunteer and help your community during a disaster. Having a family emergency plan will give you the reassurance that you will be able to take care of yourselves whether you have to shelter in place or evacuate. Have a family meeting to determine how you would leave your home in the event of a house fire.
Include comfortable shoes, a change of clothes, flashlight, snacks, first aid kit, and of course, water. This system will send you an alert in the case of flooding, wildfire, evacuation or other public safety incidents.
Having a Family Plan so everyone understands how to get out of the house and where to meet if separated, takes a minimal amount of time to complete but could save lives later.
You can download all the ReadyMarin Checklist bundle or each one separately in the links below. Store your supplies in a safe place, check expiration dates on food and water twice a year and replace as necessary. A great exercise to do and this checklist provides you with some ideas and a place to record them.
Fill out the Grab & Go Checklist and keep it in the backpack for last minute items, such as medications and phone charger. Both the Car and Work Kits provide you with a change of clothes, comfortable shoes, first aid kits, water and nutritional snacks. Choose non-perishable food that is low-sodium (reduces your thirst) and pick items that you will want to eat.
Marin County offers both the Get Ready and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to all residents. In addition to family photos and financial records, you might add a change of clothes, radio, and first aid kit. If you are able to shelter in place, you will need to plan how to survive, where to store your supplies, and how to communicate with out of town family. You can add last minute items from your Grab and Go Checklist just before you leave, but remember anything you can do ahead of time will save you time in an emergency!


You can always turn it back on.  This will keep the water in your home from being contaminated from sewage coming in from broken pipes. Learn how to take care of yourself and your family, or expand your knowledge and learn about first aid, search and rescue, disaster organization and help your community. Your camping gear can become part of your emergency supplies, such as a tent, sleeping bags, and cook stove.
Last minute items might include medications, cell phone and charger, safe deposit keys, family jewelry and passports.
Planning ahead, arranging meeting places for your family, identifying an out-of-town contact and participating in a neighborhood radio network will help provide options in case of a disaster.
Wait to hear on the radio if there are water delivery issues or sanitation problems in your area before turning it back on. Much of what you need is already in your home and just needs to be collected in a safe place. It is important to decide a meeting place for all family members in case of a quick evacuation. Often in a disaster it is impossible to get local phone service, but calls out of the area can get through. Always drink the best water you have first, before boiling or treating water that is suspicious.
While you can access this water from the valve on the heater, you will need to filter it (a coffee filter works well) since sediment builds in the bottom of the tank.
You’ll need a flashlight, first aid kit, manual can opener, sanitation supplies, cash in small denominations, and of course water and food.
Don’t forget that if power is out, gas pumps won’t work, ATM’s won’t work and grocery stores will be closed. Identifying this contact allows your family, who might be separated, to pass the word that other members are safe.



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