Emergency Preparedness

Emergency management is dealing with and avoiding disasters. Disasters can be natural, such as earthquakes, floods, and severe storms, or man-made, such as major transportation accidents, fires, and terrorism. Regardless of the cause of the disaster, emergency management is intended to be comprehensive to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from any disaster.

There are four phases of emergency management that make up the “emergency life cycle”: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. These phases represent the various elements of a disaster. All phases are interconnected, and everyone has responsibilities in all four phases. Here are some examples of the roles of residents and business in these phases:

  1. Mitigation and Prevention: Reducing long-term risk to life and property.
    • Example for Residents: Replacing wood shingle roofs to a flame retardant roof.
    • Example for Businesses: Properly storing chemicals, securing equipment.
  2. Preparedness: The activities done before a disaster, such as training, planning, and community education and exercises.
    • Example for Residents: Creating emergency supply kits and plans.
    • Example for Businesses: Creating emergency supply kits and emergency and business continuity plans.
  3. Response: Actions taken to save lives and property during an emergency.
    • Example for Residents and Businesses: Learn CPR and first aid.
  4. Recovery: Cleanup and restoration of activities to return to normal.
    • Example for Residents and Businesses: Keep insurance coverage current and follow emergency plans.

Generally, all disasters and emergencies begin and end at the local level. This means that local governments are usually first to respond to a disaster or emergency and are affected most by disasters and emergencies. This is why it is important for you as a business or resident to prepare for disasters and emergencies.

Can you say “I’ve got seven” and mean it? In the event of a disaster, are you prepared to survive without assistance for seven days? When an emergency strikes, it’s too late to begin to plan how you and your family will cope with it or to assemble the things you need to survive. In the event of a major disaster, you may not have access to food, water, or electricity for days or weeks. Emergency services may be overwhelmed and help could take days to arrive.

Prepare now – make a kit, make a plan, be informed!

Make a Kit

Have a seven-day supply of:

  • Non-perishable food (canned, no-cook, packaged) and a manual can opener.
  • Water (one gallon per person or pet per day).
  • First aid kit (including first aid manual).
  • Medications (prescription and non-prescription) and eye glasses.
  • Battery-powered flashlight, radio, and batteries.
  • Personal hygiene items like toilet paper, paper towels, and large trash bags.
  • Copies of important documents.
  • Items for pets (food, water, cages/leashes).
  • Items for infants (formula, diapers, etc.).
  • Tools (including duct tape, neon-colored tape, or rope to block off dangerous areas).
  • Have smaller sized kits for your car and workplace.
  • Cash in small denominations ($1, $5, $10) (ATMs and credit cards do not work if the power is out).
  • Fire extinguisher (A-B-C) type.
  • Protective eye goggles, gloves, face mask, and hard hat.
  • Whistle.
  • Change of clothing and sturdy shoes.
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors and pharmacists.
  • Camp stove or charcoal grill for outdoor cooking (including appropriate fuel).
  • Keep the kit in a sturdy and easy to carry container.

Make a Plan

  • Establish a plan for your family and make sure that everyone knows what they should do, where all the emergency supplies are kept, where they should go or meet in case of emergency, and practice your plan! In some cases, you may be asked to evacuate or to shelter-in-place; remember to make plans for those situations too.
  • Practice your plan at least twice a year and establish at least two places to meet after a disaster (one in the neighborhood and one outside of the neighborhood).
  • Each adult in the household should learn how and when to turn off utilities, such as water, electricity, and gas.
  • Know your children’s school evacuation plan.
  • Out-of-state contact information should be shared with family members so that messages can be relayed to loved ones if local communications are not available.
  • Include your pets in your plan!
Be Informed
  • AlertOC, a computerized telephone automated community notification system, can call to provide residents with a pre-recorded emergency or incident-specific message. HOW ALERTOC WORKS: Messages about a potential safety hazard or concern will be sent to landline phones, cell phones, e-mail, and more. If you don’t confirm receipt of the message, the system will try to reach your second contact number or email. The system will continue trying to contact you until it receives a confirmation from you. Residents and business owners must register the voice and text communication devices where they wish to receive messages. All members of a household should register ALL communication devices and email addresses, both personal and work! Sign up for AlertOC. Residents and businesses with landline telephone numbers have already been included in the system. You may use the registration link to include additional ways to contact you. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential.
  • The City of Seal Beach uses Nixle as another avenue for important notifications. These messages can be delivered to cell phones as text messages, you can choose to receive emails, or you can view the messages by logging into your Nixle account. For more information, please visit the Nixle website or receive alerts from your local agency by sending a text to the number 888777 containing your zip code (90740) for mobile alerts.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is designed for the broadcast media to disseminate emergency information, similar to test messages on radio and TV stations. The system enables the federal, state, and local governments to communicate with the general public.
  • Mobile emergency vehicles (police cars, helicopters) can use sirens, loudspeakers, and public address systems to give directions or information to the public.
  • SBTV Cable Channel 3 can provide information and emergency direction.
  • The City can interrupt the regular cable programming to direct viewers to tune to their local cable channel for more information.


ReadyOC is a public service campaign aimed at educating and empowering Orange County residents, businesses and the community to better prepare for emergency situations. Learn more here.

Emergency Operations Plan

Tsunami Evacuation Route

Evacuation Plan

Local Hazard Mitigation Plan

Prepare Your Pets for Disasters

For questions or more information about emergency and disaster preparedness, please contact the Seal Beach Police Department at (562) 799-4100 ext. 1145.