Don’t Panic! Get Prepared…

If a large-scale disaster occurs in our area, what will you do? What if the emergency responders are overwhelmed and can’t help you right away? If you have to leave your house, where will you go? September is National Preparedness Month, which is a great time to review your family’s emergency plans, update your emergency kits, and make sure your family is ready for an emergency. Don’t know where to start? Goleta Prepare Now was created to help our community prepare for the next disaster by following three steps: Be informed. Get a kit. Make a plan.

Be Informed

Information is a valuable resource during an emergency, and just as valuable before an emergency occurs. Gathering information is key to forming an emergency plan that meets all of your family’s needs.

  • Learn what type of disasters your area might experience.
  • Find out the disaster plans for your workplace and your child’s school.
  • Identify evacuation routes from your home, place of work, neighborhood and town.
  • Know where and how to turn off home utilities.
  • Register for local emergency alerts, like Goleta City Alert and Reverse 911.

Get a Kit

A disaster kit should include food, water, and supplies to sustain your family for at least three days. Goleta Prepare Now’s Shop for Your Kit campaign encourages shoppers to buy emergency kit supplies during regular trips to the grocery and hardware stores. Here are the basics: (For comprehensive lists of supplies for disaster kits, see

  • One gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food (and tools to open the containers)
  • Copies of important documents in a water-proof container (insurance policies, financial information, identification, medical records)
  • Radio with extra batteries, preferably hand-cranked and/or solar powered
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlights
  • Dust masks
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Blankets
  • Personal hygiene products (wipes, hand sanitizer)
  • Cell phone charger
  • Special needs items (infant needs, medical supplies, pet care items)

Make a plan

The nature of an emergency is that it is unexpected. All members of your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. How will you communicate with family members if the phone lines are jammed? What will happen if you are at work or your child is at school? Families can prepare for these situations by creating a communication plan.

  • Identify family meeting places: one near your house, and one outside the neighborhood.
  • Select out-of-town and out-of-state emergency contacts, and make sure everyone in the family knows their phone numbers.
  • Write down important medical information for each member of your family (blood type, allergies, medications, doctor’s name and contact information).
  • Arrange for help evacuating, if needed.
  • Talk about your plan with your family. Make sure your children understand what to do in case of an emergency.

For help talking to your children about emergency preparedness, visit or Sesame Street’s Let’s Get Ready website (  For additional information on emergency preparedness in Goleta, contact Luz Reyes-Martin at 805-961-7558 or email


Connect with the City of Goleta for emergency alerts:

Goleta’s Neighborhood Network:

SB County Sheriff’s Office:

Reverse 911 Registration:

American Red Cross – Santa Barbara County Chapter:

FEMA’s Ready campaign:

Sesame Street’s Let’s Get Ready: