Emergency Planning

family emergency plan

Create A Family Emergency Plan

A well-thought-out emergency plan can help you think effectively and take the right action in a localized emergency like a house fire and in a larger disaster like a wildfire or earthquake. Be sure to account for everyone in your household, including renters, nannies, housekeepers and part-time workers.

Include The Following In Your Plans

Family Meet-Up Locations

Identify a location outside your home on your property where everyone should gather; another location or two just outside your immediate neighborhood and two locations outside the Canyon—one to the North (Valley side) and one to the South (ocean side).

Small Pets

Have an emergency travel kit just for your pets, including food, identification, meds, crates, beds and toys. Identify hotels where you can take small animals if you have to evacuate the Canyon.

Out-Of-State Contact

It may be easier to make out of state phone calls than local calls. Designate a friend or relative who everyone should call to report their condition and their location.

emergency horses
Horses And Large Animals

Horses present special challenges during emergencies. Know how you will move your large animals and where you will take them. Have an animal disaster supply kit in a portable container such as a trash can or duffle bag. Leave early to avoid traffic. Never turn your horses loose.

Evacuation Routes

Draw up a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room, especially the bedrooms. Know several ways out of your neighborhood and the Canyon. If you only have a single exit from your area, make sure you evacuate early in order to minimize traffic tie-ups.

Practice Disaster Scenarios

Once or twice a year, hold fire and earthquake drills with your family to practice what to do and where to go in different types of emergencies.

Utility Shutoff

Learn how to shut off your water and your power sources.

School Plans

If you have kids, know your school’s emergency plan and what you should do if the school’s plan is implemented.


Organize your neighbors so everyone can help each other, including people with special needs. Or join a Neighborhood Network if one is active in your area.

For more ideas on creating a family emergency plan, download the

Topanga Disaster Survival Guide