Preparing for Future Disasters

January 12, 2018
by Lindsay Barker

Preparing for Future Disasters

As the region recovers from some of the most devastating fires in recent memory, the City of Santa Monica urges residents to take this time to prepare for a potential future disaster in our community. Whether it be a regional wildfire, earthquake, flu virus, act of terror or tsunami, the City has plans in place to respond to a variety of emergencies. It’s important that residents do their part to ensure the safety of their friends, family and colleagues. Below, we address some of the most common questions we received during the recent wildfires.

What should I have ready if I need to evacuate?

Although an evacuation for a wildfire would be very rare in Santa Monica, you may need to evacuate your home if it is unsafe after a major earthquake. Make an emergency action plan for your family. Have two locations where your family could meet if you had to evacuate your home or neighborhood. City of Santa Monica Office of Emergency Management recommends each household prepare a disaster “Go-Kit” For more information about what to include visit

What would an evacuation of Santa Monica look like?

In the event where an evacuation is required for even a small section of Santa Monica, the City of Santa Monica will initiate a SM Alert to all residents and businesses in the impacted area. This evacuation message would go out to landlines that are registered in public records as well as all cell phones and e-mail addresses that are registered with SM Alerts, Santa Monica’s mass notification system. If there was an imminent threat and evacuation is mandatory, law enforcement would notify all residents.

Would there be shelters available?

The City of Santa Monica Emergency Operations Center would coordinate with the American Red Cross and other community partners on suitable evacuation shelter locations. This information would be disseminated to the public using social media, SM Alerts, local media, and the City’s website.

Where can I find more information and alerts?

To receive SM Alerts for your home or business, visit and register for “emergency” alerts. Residents and businesses may also register for Public Safety notices that provide situational awareness on immediate safety concerns in our community.

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