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Emergency/Disaster Info

Emergency Planning

Do you know what to do in case of a natural disaster or other home emergency? Emergency preparedness is easier than you might think. The following simple steps will get you and your family started:

Know your neighborhood. Your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter can advise you on the disasters most commonly found in your region. Review Ten Steps to Safety for more ways to prepare for an emergency.

  • Know your home. Make sure your family knows what to do in an earthquake, fire, or power outage. Create Your Family Emergency Plan and Sample Family Emergency Plan (see below) to post in a visible place in your home.
  • Don't be caught empty-handed. Make sure you have the right food, water, clothing, and tools for a temporary evacuation of your home or another emergency situation. This Three Day Emergency Supply Checklist (see below) will help you prepare.
  • Plan ahead for family members with special needs. If you have family members with disabilities or special needs, make sure their needs will be taken care of in an emergency. Visit Preparing to Meet Special Needs for more information.
  • Make your home and community fire safe. Visit the  Fire Safe Council website for information on how to prevent fires and safeguard your family.

When Disaster Strikes

By their very nature, emergencies are unpredictable.  Knowing what to do ahead of time can help make an emergency more manageable. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:

  • After a disaster, check for damage and make your home safe.
    • Use flashlights -- do not light matches or candles.
    • Do not turn on electrical switches if you suspect your electrical system is damaged.
    • Check for fires and fire hazards.
    • Check for gas leaks, beginning with the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open the windows, and get everyone outside quickly.
    • Shut off any other damaged utilities.
    • Clean up spilled medicine, bleach, gasoline and other flammable liquids immediately. 
  • If emergency officials ask you to evacuate, do so immediately. Bring a battery-powered radio and emergency supplies. Review local utility provider’s evacuation tips for more information.
  • Keep your home clear of brush. Clearing brush from around your home can protect it from a fire. Click here for other fire-prevention tips.
  • Electrical fires cannot be extinguished with water. Know how to identify and handle an electrical fire.
  • Disasters may affect electrical lines and cause an outage. For more information visit power outages.

Electrical Safety Tips

  • Never touch a power line -- even one that is on the ground. Consider even downed wires to be charged with electrical current or "live". If you see a downed power line, call local utility provider’s emergency number (         )________________ , immediately. Visit local utility provider’s website for more important information.
  • If you live in an area with underground electric lines, find out where the lines are located before you dig for any reason. Visit Call Before You Dig for more important information.
  • Replace or repair electrical appliances that are broken or have damaged wires or insulation. Damaged equipment or wires can give a powerful shock when touched. Review Indoor Safety for more tips.
  • Keep all electrical equipment on your property accessible at all times. If the equipment belongs to SCE, our employees may need to get to it quickly and safely in order to do their jobs. This is especially true during an emergency. Don't climb on or try to repair any utility equipment. 
  • Before allowing utility employees into your home or business, request to see their Employee Identification cards to confirm their identity. SCE employees are required to carry picture identification cards with them. To learn more, see your local utility provider’s site.
  • Keep your pets indoors if possible, or provide ample shade and lots of water.
  • Avoid driving in damaged areas. You might interfere with rescue or restoration efforts, as well as jeopardize your own safety because debris may hide downed lines during a wind or rain storm. 

Ten Steps to Safety

In an emergency situation, advance planning is the key to safety and peace of mind. The following list of tips to help you and your family improve your preparedness: 

  1. Learn what kinds of disasters might happen in your community. There are many local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as private organizations, that can help you and your family prepare for an emergency. Start with a nearby chapter of the American Red Cross. Ask these questions:
    • What types of disasters are most common in my neighborhood?
    • What is the best way to prepare for those events?
    • Is there a warning signal in my neighborhood? What does it sound like?
    • Is there a designated community-gathering place in the event of a disaster?
    • Where can I take pets during an evacuation?
    • What's the best way to help elderly or disabled persons?
  2. Learn emergency plans for locations you and your family frequent. Learn emergency procedures at your workplace, your children's schools or day care centers, and any other place your family spends time.
  3. Make sure your home is insured. Contact your insurance provider and make sure you are adequately covered in the event of an emergency. Ask about disaster coverage for the specific events that might occur in your area.
  4. Learn first aid. In the event of an emergency, it may be up to you to care for the injured. Learn the basics at an American Red Cross First Aid and CPR class.
  5. Prepare your entire family. Create a Family Emergency Plan and make sure each family member knows the basics. Prepare your entire family. Create a Family Emergency Plan and make sure every member of your family understands it.
  6. Get security lights for every room. These lights plug into any wall outlet and light up automatically if the power goes out. They will continue to operate for four to six hours.
  7. Install a smoke detector on every floor in your home. Locate smoke detectors near bedrooms. Test them monthly and replace batteries once a year.
  8. Purchase an ABC-type fire extinguisher for your home. These extinguishers can fight all kinds of fires - even electrical ones.
  9. Talk to your neighbors. Working with neighbors in an emergency can save lives and property. If you're a member of a neighborhood organization, introduce disaster preparedness to the group. Familiarize yourself with your neighbors' special skills (e.g., medical, technical) and consider how you can help neighbors with Special Needs. (Make arrangements for childcare in case parents don't get home.)
  10. Plan for the worst. Assemble a Three-Day Emergency Supply Checklist (7-days is preferred). Hopefully, you'll never need to use it, but in the event of an emergency, you'll be glad you took the time to create it.
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