With the recent fires in Southern California, the City of Ojai would like to take this opportunity to remind residents to be prepared for all hazards, emergencies and disasters. There are simple steps residents of the Ojai Valley can begin taking now to be better prepared for a disaster.

The City of Ojai, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ventura County Fire Protection District have extensive plans in place for a disaster: an Emergency Operations Center, notification system, and City employees trained to be disaster service workers. However, residents still need to be prepared, and be self-sufficient. In some disasters, even Police and Fire services will be unable to get to residents in time, and residents should be prepared to act.

Below are some tips on how residents and businesses can be prepared by making a disaster-supply kit, making an emergency communications plan, and staying informed:

Make a Kit:

During an emergency, you will probably not have time to shop or search for necessary items. A disaster-supply kit should provide a collection of basic items that household members may need in the event of a disaster. A disaster-supply kit can be used in your home if there is an extended power outage or it could be used if you have to leave your home and go to a shelter.

A basic disaster-supply kit should include at least the following recommended items:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and/or a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Make a Plan:

  • Emergency plans can help to make sure you keep in contact with important family and friends.
  • Create and practice a family communications plan in case you are separated during an emergency.
  • Select a family meeting spot where everyone can go in case you are separated.
  • Make sure all family members have an emergency contact list. The contact list should include a friend or family member that lives out of state as it may be easier to make a non-local call after an emergency.
  • Learn where your city or town’s shelter is located and how to get there.

Stay Informed:

  • Reliable, accurate information is an essential resource before, during, and after an emergency or disaster.
  • Visit readyventuracounty.org for more information about preparing for a disaster, or to Register with VCAlert and receive free emergency notifications from local officials
  • Visit  vcemergency.com for updates on emergency incidents, and to see current evacuations and road closures
  • Learn about potential hazards in your own community
  • Follow the City of Ojai and the Ventura County Sheriff OES on Facebook
  • Tune into Channel 10 on cable television or AM 1610 for updates
  • Visit the FEMA webpage (https://www.fema.gov/preparedness-checklists-toolkits) for preparedness checklists and toolkits.