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Before an Emergency

Make a Plan

Having an emergency plan is your family’s best chance of survival in any emergency and of being reunited, if separated. Your plan should cover children, seniors, family members with other access or functional needs, pets, and your home. The plan should also include arrangements for the care of horses and other livestock, if needed. Use our disaster planning worksheet to help get you started.

Register for Code Red Emergency Alerts  Find your evacuation zone

Family Communication 

  • Pick a relative or friend who lives out of the area (and out of danger), who family members will know to contact during an emergency to communicate their location.
  • If you have a traditional landline, make sure to keep one non-cordless phone that will work if the power goes out.
  • If possible, purchase cell phones for all family members, if only for emergency situations.
  • Program emergency contacts into your cell phones, and make sure to keep them fully charged.
  • Keep backup batteries and/or solar-powered chargers in your emergency kit.
  • Keep emergency contact lists up to date and print and laminate small, business card-sized copies for family members.
  • Make sure that your family’s schools, daycare, and workplaces have current emergency contact information.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging on the cell phones. Text messages tend to be more reliable when wireless networks are congested.
  • Use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to inform others of your location and keep track of your friends and relatives. However, try to conserve your cell phone’s battery as much as possible.
  • If you have a working radio and/or TV, be sure to listen for emergency instructions and updates.
  • Information will be sent to the following broadcast networks:
    • KSTE 92.5 AM, KFBK 1530 AM, KGBY 92.5 FM, KKCY 103.1 FM, KMYC 1410 AM, KUBA 1600 AM, KMJE 101.5 FM, 93Q Radio 93.3 FM
Pay close attention to the special needs of the elderly. Use this CHECKLIST.

Access and Functional Needs

Because every person’s needs are different, you are in the best position to plan for your safety, or other family members with disabilities and other access and functional needs. At a minimum:
  • Create a personal support network to assist you before, during and after an emergency.
  • Make a list of your/their personal daily living requirements and resources.
  • If you need dialysis or other life-sustaining treatment, identify more than one service facility and work with your doctor to include this information in your emergency plan.
  • Pre-arrange for transportation in the event of an evacuation-- This could be a friend, neighbor, or relative. If you have no other transportation during an emergency, contact the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office at 530-749-7777.
  • Develop backup plans for in-home assistance providers, if used.
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit. Make sure it includes necessary medical equipment + batteries, medications, and first aid supplies.
  • Connect with local organizations that provide assistance to those with access and functional needs, including support for service animals.
  • Keep in writing a request that you be evacuated with your family, Service Animal, and/or care provider and provide it to emergency personnel, if needed.
Here is a helpful CHECKLIST.
Use the following resources for more in-depth information on how to address access and functional needs in an emergency:

 FEMA Video: Preparing Makes Sense for People with Access & Functional Needs


If you have infants or young children, make sure any care providers have a copy of your family emergency plan and contacts, and keep everything up to date. Also, include in your emergency kit diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, medications and other needed supplies. If evacuated, don’t forget favorite special comforts such as a blanket or stuffed animal.


Many people consider their pets members of their families. Their odds of a pet’s survival during a flood are greatly increased if you plan in advance for its care. In the event of an evacuation, do not leave your pets behind. Identify a backup, like a friend or neighbor, to care for your pet in the event an evacuation occurs when you’re not home.

Following the evacuation, the best option for pet owners is to stay with a friend or relative out of the area who can care for you and your pet. Most Yuba County shelters will not allow animals, with the exception of Service Animals. However the County will do everything possible to set up separate pet shelters nearby. Don’t forget to bring special foods, medications, or other supplies for your pet, regardless of where you plan to stay.

Here is a helpful CHECKLIST.

Watch FEMA’s “Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners” Video to learn more.