You may not have water or even access to a toilet. You can set up a makeshift toilet with a bucket, plastic bags, kitty litter and an emergency toilet seat. Read more about this at www.totallyunprepared.com.
This is critical to know. First rule is: do not turn off the gas unless you smell it, hear whishing sounds, or are told to do so. If there is a wildfire approaching your home and you are evacuating, turn it off. Keep a wrench by the meter for emergency action. Only PG&E or a licensed plumbing contractor can turn your gas back on!
Read the directions below but if you are not sure, call PG&E and schedule a visit. They will be glad to show you how it is done.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as basic first aid, fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises and simulations, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
The CERT training is 18 hours of instruction. It is offered in several different time structures. Usually it is a 2-hour meeting on a Thursday evening and then the following two Saturdays from 8:30-4pm.
People of all ages have taken the CERT training. During CERT classroom training, if one has a concern about doing a skill like lifting, just let the instructor know. You can learn from watching. We would like everyone who wants to go through the training to have an opportunity to participate and learn the skills. CERT educates participants about local hazards and trains them in skills that are useful during disaster and life’s everyday emergencies.
There are many jobs within CERT for someone who wants to be involved and help in an emergency. Following a disaster, CERT members are also needed for documentation, comforting others, logistics, etc. Non-disaster related team activities may include keeping databases, organizing a neighborhood group, planning activities, public education, helping with special events, and organizing exercises and activities.
The cost for the training is $45. This includes a backpack, goggles, helmet, CERT identification card, and training manual. Some neighborhood associations in Marin County will reimburse you for the fee.
There are several ways to maintain what you’ve learned in the CERT Basic training. Marin County CERT holds several Advanced Trainings each year for those who have completed the Basic Training, including one disaster simulation exercise. Other trainings might include first aid certification, how to work with animals, both wild & domestic, in a disaster and how to run a CERT Command Post. These trainings will be posted on the website with guidelines for registering. It is also important that you take the lead and enroll in more advanced first aid or shelter management classes with the American Red Cross. You can volunteer at a safety fair to educate others about the importance of CERT training. Read more about opportunities for CERT Graduates.
Marin’s disaster response professionals emphasize the critical importance that all Marin residents be prepared to care for themselves, their families and their neighbors for up to 5-7 days following a disaster. We know that our public safety professionals will probably be overwhelmed after a large-scale disaster and may not be available to residents for some days. Being prepared to “shelter in place” with adequate food, water and supplies will help families respond to, and recover from, a disaster more than any other personal preparedness effort. To help you prepare to Shelter in Place, Marin public safety agencies offer a two-hour course, Get Ready, to teach you what to do before, during and after a disaster. You also learn what to do and what to take if you need to leave your home.
Call the Get Ready contacts for your community listed at the bottom of the Get Ready page on this site.
You can download the Get Ready manual online on the Get Ready page of this website.
The general guideline for water usage is 1 gallon per person, or pet, per day. Some of this will be used for drinking and the rest for washing, sanitation, and cooking. ReadyMarin suggests you store enough water for 5-7 days. You can purchase large storage containers at earthquake supply vendors. Also remember your hot water heater is a good source of water, however you will need to filter it due to the sediment in the bottom of the tank. You can clean out your water heater once a year. Talk to a licensed plumber to instruct you on how to do that with your specific water heater.
First and foremost, drink the water you know is not contaminated. If water is suspicious because it is cloudy or smells, and you have no other clean water resources, you can purify it with chlorine bleach, boiling and/or distilling. For specifics on these methods and their effectiveness, read the guidelines from FEMA.
One tip about stored or boiled water from FEMA: Boiled water will taste better if you put oxygen back into it by pouring the water back and forth between two clean containers.
If you purchase water in containers there is usually a “use by” date which you should observe. You can also write the date on the container when you place it in your storage area. Generally plan on replacing your water supply every six months. Use it to water your garden!
Some water is our homes should not be used to drink, even in an emergency.
- Radiators and hot water boilers (home heating systems).
- Water from the toilet bowl or flush tank.
- Water beds. Fungicides added to the water or chemicals in the vinyl may make water unsafe to use.
- Swimming pools and spas. Chemicals used to kill germs are too concentrated for safe drinking but can be used for personal hygiene, cleaning and related uses.
Store food that is non-perishable, low sodium, and very importantly, food you and your family will like. Here is a short list. Remember to watch the expiration dates and rotate the food out of your emergency stash regularly. Keep a can opener in your emergency kit.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables
- Protein or fruit bars
- Instant hot cereal if you have cooking capability
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Unsalted nuts
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High energy nutrition
You can eat commercially bought canned food directly out of the can. If you want to cook it in the can, first open the can, remove the label and disinfect the exterior.
if there is a power outage, do not open your refrigerator or freezer door. The food will be good for about 4 hours before the temperature drops. Then eat this food first if the power is still out. Discard any perishable food that has been in temperatures above 40 degrees for more than two hours, such as meat, dairy, eggs, fish, etc. For more information on food safety, visit www.ready.gov/food, scroll down and click on the Managing Food Without Power tab.
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare a kit for home, work, and vehicles.
At home, put your Grab & Go bag in a location where it is easy to pick up as you leave your home.
Your kit at work should contain supplies for 24 hours, which include water, change of clothes, walking shoes, sanitation supplies, cash in small denominations, identification and phone chargers.
Your car kit should contain the same as your work kit plus a flashlight, blanket, map, car phone charger, cash in small denomincations, and non-perishable food. Remember to keep your car gas tank half full at all times.