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Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness Information

Heat Alert - July 2018

When temperatures are high, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Others who are frail or have chronic health conditions may develop serious health problems leading to death if they are exposed to high temperatures over several days,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, Interim Health Officer, Los Angeles County. “Thus, it is critically important to never leave children, elderly people, or pets unattended in homes with no air conditioning and particularly in vehicles, even if the windows are ‘cracked’ or open, as temperatures inside can quickly rise to life-threatening levels. If you have an elderly or infirm neighbor without air conditioning, make sure that they get to a cooling center or other air conditioned space between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.”

Tips for those who must work or exercise outdoors:

  • Ensure that cool drinking water is available.
  • Drink water or electrolyte-replacing sports drinks often; do not wait until you are thirsty.
  • Avoid drinking sweetened drinks, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking extremely cold water as this is more likely to cause cramps.
  • Allow athletes or outdoor workers to take frequent rests.
  • Pay attention to signs of dehydration which include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst. Individuals with these symptoms should be moved to a cooler, shaded place, and given water or sport drinks. More severe signs of heat- related illness may include diminished judgment, disorientation, pale and clammy skin, a rapid and weak pulse, and/or fast and shallow breathing.
  • Coaches, teachers, and employers should seek immediate medical attention for those exhibiting signs of heat-related illness.
  • Avoid unnecessary exertion, such as vigorous exercise during peak sun hours, if you are outside or in a non-air conditioned building.

For a list of Cooling Centers and information on heat-related illnesses and prevention, please visit the Public Health website at, or call 2-1-1. To locate the nearest cooling center, go to Call your local Cooling Center for hours of operation.   For more information on the current heat alert, click here.

"DEADLY SILENCE" -  A Drowning Awareness Campaign

Can you imagine finding your child floating face down in your own pool? It happened, but this story does have a happy ending and we’re using it as a reminder for all. Backyard swimming pools will once again be busy this summer. Know what to do to prevent a drowning in your backyard and how to spread awareness for this deadly silence.

Here is an emotionally powerful Public Service Announcement produced in coordination between California OES staff and the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department. 

Deadly Silence - A Drowning Awareness Campaign 

Deadly silence...are you listening?

ALERT: Virulent Newcastle Disease - Information for Bird Owners

Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND) has been found in Southern California.  It is a contagious disease of birds, including chickens.

For more information, click here


Mosquito-Borne Diseases: It's Not Just a Bite

The Department of Public Health would like to remind everyone that mosquitoes spread serious diseases, like West Nile virus and Zika.  Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

  • Wear mosquito repellent when you're outdoors.  Use spray, wipes or lotion.
  • Keep mosquitoes from infesting your home and yard.  Tip and toss containers that hold water.

Learn more at or call 2-1-1. 


Emergency Operations Plan

The City of Whittier Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) serves as a guide to personnel handling an emergency occurring in the City.  Click here to see the plan. 

Amateur Radio

Learn to be an amateur radio operator!  Classes available in May, August and November this year.  Click here to view further information. 

Storm Preparedness

Click here to read about storm preparedness.

Some tips for putting together a disaster preparedness kit on a tight budget:

  • Ask yourself some basic questions: What will I need to stay warm or cool? What will I need to store water and food in? (Tip: you can use empty soda bottles after you wash them with soap and hot water for water containers.)  What will I need to see in the dark?  What will I need to eat, drink, and cook with?  What will I need to build a make-shift shelter?  What will comfort me and give me a sense of relief (i.e., comfort foods, travel-sized lotions that smell good or a favorite book)? 
  • Look at what you already have in your home.  Think about clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, flashlights or headlamps, backpacking stove, duct tape, tools, can opener, batteries, whistle, pet supplies, plastic bags, utensils, personal care items, shoes, gloves, hard hat and matches.
  • Look in your pantry!  Do you have extra canned tuna (packed with water) or cans of soup? Both may help hydrate you in a pinch. Peanut butter and nuts are good for sustaining your energy. Protein bars are small, inexpensive and good to eat on the run. Anything else that travels well and packs up small would be good to add.  Watch expiration dates and change out supplies as needed.
  • Do not forget some comfort food - chocolate, hard candy, gum or mints can be good mood elevators.
  • Work with friends and family. They often have extras of things they do not use and you can take them or trade for them.
  • Use the Internet to find free, tradable or cheap goods.
  • Shop at thrift stores, surplus warehouses, dollar stores, department or large discount stores.  Check the community pages, bulletin boards and garage sales in your area for inexpensive items you can add.
  • Membership clubs and warehouse stores are also great and they sell items in bulk. (Tip: go in together with others on bulk items you may need and split them up for cost savings.)  Ask your doctor, dentist or eye doctor if they have any free samples you can add, like bandages, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, contact solution, and contact lens or eyeglass cases.
  • Take the personal size soap or small shampoo, the plastic cup, or any other small size freebie items found in hotels.
  • Have copies of your driver’s license, Social Security card and birth certificate in your kit. If possible, keep a little bit of money (like $5, $10 or $20 in small bills and some change). Keep personal information and money in a secure location at all times.
  • Kids will need toys, coloring books, and treats to provide them a sense of normalcy in a disaster.
  • Survival manuals are great references. Often, they will tell you what you can and cannot eat right from your own yard.     

Driving After an Earthquake

PLAN AN ALTERNATE ROUTE – The roads or freeways you usually use may be blocked or unsafe.  Outline on a map several routes from home to work or to your child’s school or daycare.  Keep the map in your car, purse, backpack or briefcase.

IF YOU TAKE PUBLIC TRANSIT – Make sure that you are familiar with at least two (2) alternate routes in case the one you usually use is out of service.

KEEP A LIST OF PHONE NUMBERS AND ADDRESSES OF CO-WORKERS WHO LIVE NEAR YOU – In case of emergency, you will be able to contact them to share the ride to work if you feel unsafe driving alone or if your usual rideshare arrangement is temporarily unavailable.

DECIDE HOW YOU WILL MEET UP WITH LOVED ONES – Phones are often unreliable, so set up a plan in advance for getting to your family.  Who will pick up the children?  What are your travel plans if you need to check on an elderly or disabled friend or relative?  You may want to ask someone who lives out of state to serve as the “family contact,” since after a disaster, it is often easier to call long-distance than locally.

KEEP AN EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL KIT IN YOUR CAR – You can purchase a prepackaged kit or make your own, which should include a first aid kit, blanket, flashlight, batteries, packaged food items, bottled water, walking shoes and coins for a pay phone.

Have a Plan

Being prepared for an emergency not only involves gathering the right supplies, but also having a plan. Whether it be a fire, earthquake or a family emergency, knowing where your family is and how to get in touch with them is important.

  • Create a contact list of family and friends. Include all important phone numbers and addresses (i.e., home, work, school, etc.). Share this information with each person on the list. Also, remember to update the information as it changes over time.
  • List an out-of-state contact that everyone can call who can relay messages.
  • As a back-up plan, figure out how you would contact these people in an emergency if telephones, cell phones, email, etc. do not work.
  • How would you reach these people if the roads were undrivable? Or if the distance was too far to walk? Maybe your plan is for everyone stay in place. Or maybe you can bicycle or skateboard to where you need to go. Determine what is best for your situation and make sure everyone is in the know.
  • If you or someone you care about needs special assistance in an emergency, plan for that. Provide helpers with extra keys to this person’s living facility and notify them where disaster supplies are located.
  • Practice evacuating buildings using multiple exit strategies and assembly area locations. Make sure no one goes back inside a structure that is unstable or on fire.
  • Develop a plan should you and your loved ones have to leave the immediate area. Choose different destinations and routes depending on news reports and/or instructions.
  • Overall, for every aspect of your daily routine, plan an alternate procedure and share that information with the people in your life.

Knowing that your loved ones are safe after a disaster may be the best news you can hear in a disaster. Therefore, get prepared and have a plan!

Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Prepare for emergencies NOW! Residents must have supplies for 5-7 days after an earthquake or other emergency. Click here to learn more!

Prepárate para situaciones de emergencia ahora! Residentes deben tener suministros para 5-7 días después de un terremoto o otra emergencia. Oprima aqui para mas informacion.

A Wildfire Action Plan - Ready! Set! Go!

Prepare for a wildfire emergency NOW! Click here to learn more!

Make Your Own Disaster Preparedness Kit

For helpful information on putting together a disaster preparedness kit on a tight budget, click here.

The American Red Cross has created a guide that can help you build an emergency kit in 21 weeks, called "21 Weeks to Prepare".

Disaster Preparedness: People with Disabilities

Prepare for Emergencies Now:  Information for People with Disabilities
Information available in either Flyer or
Brochure format.

Disaster Preparedness: Pets

Are you and your pets prepared for an emergency event? Start preparing NOW by following these guidelines.
 Emergency Preparedness Brochure: Pets (pgs. 1 & 2)
 Emergency Preparedness Brochure: Pets (pgs. 3 & 4)

Alert L.A. County

Alert LA County Graphic Los Angeles County has implemented a free emergency mass notification system that will be used to contact County residents and businesses via recorded phone messages, text messages or e-mail messages in case of emergency. The system, called Alert LA County, will be used by the County’s Emergency Operations Center to notify residents and businesses of emergencies or critical situations and provide information regarding necessary actions, such as evacuations or shelter-in-place.

The system utilizes the telephone companies’ 911 database and is able to contact land-line telephone numbers, whether listed or unlisted. If the call is picked up by an answering machine, the system will leave a recorded message. If the number called is busy or does not answer, the system will redial the number in an attempt to deliver the message. The system is also TTY/TDD compatible.

Because the Alert LA County system uses the 911 database, only land-line numbers are automatically included in the system. If you have a cellular or voice over IP number and would like to be notified on that device, or if you would like an e-mail notification, you must register those telephone numbers and/or e-mail addresses by completing the registration form at

The City of Whittier will be utilizing this system in the event of an emergency and encourages residents to register their cell phone, voice over IP phone or e-mail address.

Protecting Against Business Losses

Protect your business by getting prepared!  Extensive information on business preparedness and sample emergency plans, business preparedness checklists and more are available by visiting and  Also click here for “7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business.”

Useful Links

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