Plan & Prepare for an Emergency


Flu refers to illnesses caused by a number of different influenza viruses. Flu can cause a range of symptoms and effects, from mild to lethal. Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications.

In the U.S., epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) work with states to collect, compile and analyze reports of flu outbreaks. More on the current situation. Flu symptoms may include fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue.

The Preparedness Division develops and maintains state-level emergency plans and guidance to ensure consistency in disaster planning at all levels of government and community. The Division also administers the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) Maintenance System, coordinates the States activities in the federal National Incident Management System (NIMS) and provides technical assistance in Radiological-Nuclear, Earthquake-Tsunami, and Homeland Security emergency management areas.

  • What is Preparedness?
    Preparedness is special activities we do prior to an emergency to be ready to respond to and recover from any emergency. This includes developing plans and procedures, maintaining prevention programs, manage resources, agree to work together through mutual aid, train people, and educate the community. In California, we prepare for floods, wild land fires, earthquakes and tsunamis, storms, droughts, terrorism, pandemics, landslides, hazardous material spills, protecting nuclear power plants, and any other emergency that might occur or all types of hazards
  • This area of the “Planning and Preparedness Division” site identifies a number of plans, guidance materials, support information, points of reference, and other materials to assist in development of a successful all-encompassing preparedness program. Navigating through the accompanying pages will direct users to specific information that is categorized by potential partners from emergency managers, all levels of government, the community, schools, and business.
  • Threats & Hazards
    The information available within the “Threats and Hazards” portion of the Planning and Preparedness Division web site is intended to provide preliminary information on potential hazards that may impact the State of California. The information provided will include preparedness tips and or guidance on how to be ready for these hazards and vulnerabilities should they impact the State.
  • Learn how to discover the hazards that exist in your area and learn how to reduce YOUR risk! Remember, the best way to recover from disasters is by reducing the risks before a disaster strikes.  To find out what natural hazards exist in your area, please visit the following link:
  • Assemble Supplies
    The first 72 hours after a major emergency or disaster are critical. Electricity, gas, water, and telephones may not be working. In addition, public safety services such as police and fire departments will be busy handling serious crises. You should be prepared to be self-sufficient - able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones - for at least three days following a major emergency. For a list of recommended items to keep in your Emergency Preparedness Kit click here.
  • Protect Property
    As the cost of disasters continue to rise, it is necessary to take sustained action to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects.  Securing the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earthquake or from an explosion is critical in protecting yourself.  Part of a preparedness plan would be identifying items that could create hazards and identifying measures to secure them safely.  If you are not sure whether your property or business is at risk from disasters caused by natural hazards, check with your local building official, city engineer, or planning and zoning administrator.  They should be able to tell you whether or not you are in an area where hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, or tornados are likely to occur.  Additionally, they should be able to tell you how to protect yourself, your house, business and property from the different hazards.
  • Receive Training
    Training, tests and exercises are essential to ensure public officials, emergency response personnel and the public are operationally ready.  As part of the emergency management training curriculum, it is recommended that personnel with emergency responsibilities complete emergency management courses as described in the SEMS-Approved Course of Instruction (ACI) and the NIMS integration criteria.  Cal EMA provides training for emergency managers and first responders through its California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI). Each agency is responsible to maintain training and exercise records that demonstrate self-certification and compliance with SEMS and NIMS.
  • Hazard Mitigation Plans & Guidance
    Hazard mitigation is defined as, "any action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards," according to 44 Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart M, Section 206.401.  In California, this definition has been expanded to included man-made disasters.  Cal EMA provides a comprehensive list of approved hazard mitigation plans from counties, cities and special districts across the state.

    Cal EMA offers many resources through a Hazard Mitigation Web Portal in order to reduce life loss, minimize damages to property and essential services, protect the environment and promote hazard mitigation as an integrated public policy.