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Alameda Prepares

An Introduction to Prepare Our Island

The United States Geological Survey currently estimates there is a 63% probability of an earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.7 occurring in the Bay Area in the next 30 years. This Big One, experts warn, could result in fallen buildings, broken gas and water lines, and fires.

This information has been well-publicized. Yet studies show that the majority of Californians aren’t prepared for an earthquake – or any other disaster. A 2014 study by the Public Policy Institute of California, for instance, found that 64% of Californians are “very” or “somewhat” worried about a disaster. But only 52% of them have a disaster supply kit, and only 44% of them have a disaster plan.

AUSD and the City of Alameda have joined forces to improve those numbers locally by organizing an island-wide, multi-week earthquake preparation project. We know that the topic of earthquake preparation can be overwhelming, so we created eight weeks of tips to lead community members through collecting supplies, finding appropriate containers, and creating an emergency plan for friends and family. We’ve also written a layperson-friendly guide to general principles of emergency preparedness. Our goal? To help everyone in our community prepare for a disaster so that both individuals and our community at large are more resilient.

 You can find the weekly tips and supplemental materials on this page or at www.alamedaca.gov/prepare. And on social media, follow #PrepareOurIsland to find comments and tips from community members!

Start with Our Survey!

How prepared are you? To get a general sense of the level of Alameda's preparedness, we're asking community members to take this simple, anonymous survey before they start the weekly lessons. It will take you less than one minute. To start, just click here.

Week 1 - Collect Water

Scientists predict that a major earthquake could damage the distribution system that provides much of the Bay Area with clean, fresh water. That’s why it’s important to collect and store enough water ...more

Week 2 - Gather Food

In the event of a major earthquake, roads could be blocked, stores could be closed, and restaurants may be rendered inoperable. Your own kitchen may also not be usable, so gathering and storing food ...more

Week 3 - Create a Family Bin

A complete emergency preparedness kit includes clothing, bedding, and shelter, plus toiletries and tools - and your water and food, of course.

Click here for complete directions on creating the bin.

Clic ...more

Week 4 - Copy Important Documents

You may very well need but not have access to documents or on-line information that identifies you, your financial accounts, important contact numbers, and your medical needs and insurance coverage ...more

Week 5 - Create Your "Go" Bags

Keep a small bag filled with vital supplies - such as water, a coat, a snack, and some important papers - in a place where you can easily grab it if you need to exit your home quickly.

Click here for ...more

Week 6 - Create On-the-Go Go Bags!

Just as you need "go" bags in your home, you should have one in your office and/or car. That way you have a small stash of supplies available if there's an emergency situation while you're outside ...more

Week 7 - Prepare Your Home

While you can't prevent an earthquake, you can minimize the risk of destruction to your home (and your family members) by earthquake proofing your home and belongings.


Click here for a full list of directions on how to secure your home.

Click here for a video with Brandon Wolfe (APD) and Sharon Oliver (AFD) that introduces the topic.

Week 8 - Make (and Practice) a Family Plan!

Just as every one of AUSD's school sites conducts emergency drills so that students and staff know what to do, so too should you and anyone living in your household!


Click here to learn what should be in your emergency plan.


Diamond-shaped logo that says  Prepare Our Island

7 Principles of Emergency Preparedness

  1. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good: Sometimes it’s hard to get started on emergency preparedness because there is just so much to do. Don’t worry about that. Just do the best you can. Put ...more