Emergency Preparedness

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Emergency Alert System (EAS) - No registration is required  

This is the National public warning system that will interrupt local broadcast tv and radio programming to provide an alert in the event of a large-scale emergency.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) - No registration is required

These are urgent alerts sent as text-like messages to your mobile phone based on your location (you will only receive notification if you are in the area of the emergency). WEAs have three alert categories -- Imminent Threat, AMBER, Presidential. You must keep the factory settings on to your WEA- capable phone to receive a WEA.

Refer to https://www.ready.gov/alerts or more information on EAS and WEA.

AlertSCC - Registration required

The City of Gilroy utilizes AlertSCC, the County’s official emergency and alert notification system, to send important advisories, alerts, and warnings directly to your cell phone, landline, or email. You do not have to be in the location of the emergency and can receive alerts for multiple addresses (i.e., work, child’s school, home). Registering for AlertSCC is one of the fastest, easiest, and most immediately productive things you can do to better prepare for an emergency. AlertSCC is specifically designed to help you safely manage your actions in an emergency.

Alerts can include:

  • Wildfire
  • Earthquake
  • Flooding
  • Severe weather
  • Instructions during an emergency
  • Incidents affecting your neighborhood

Registering takes only minutes, the service is free, information is confidential and secure, and it can be deleted at any time.

Register and customize settings at AlertSCC.

Nixle - Registration required

The City of Gilroy also utilizes Nixle to share community-related public safety information. There are three types of Nixle notifications:  Alert, Advisory, and Community. These notifications may be sent via text or email and will be posted to the 95020 Nixle Alert page.

Register and customize your settings at Nixle or text your zip code to 888777.

Other ways to stay informed

City of Gilroy Website, the Email Express, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor

For a full list of the City’s social media channels visit the City's Communication and Engagement web page.

Local Radio and Television Stations

In the event that the City is unable to use networked communications, Cable Channel 17 and AM radio 1610 will be used to share emergency information with our community. 

Make a Plan and Practice

Living in Gilroy, we are vulnerable to disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding. Once you understand the disasters that could happen in your area, the next step is to start preparing. Gather with the members of your household and talk through various scenarios.

Here are some key points to review:

  • Determine the safest escape routes from your home, workplace, and school including two ways out of each room.
  • Identify safe spots in each room where you could take cover, if needed, like under sturdy tables and desks.
  • Identify family meeting places and possible evacuation routes. Pick two locations – one in your neighborhood and another outside of your neighborhood. In the event your home is unsafe, your family can meet at the neighborhood location. In the event of an evacuation, meet at the location outside your neighborhood.
  • Determine where you will stay if displaced whether it is with friends, family, a hotel, or a public shelter.
  • Make an emergency contact list and include everyone’s phone numbers and additional contact information. Store all this information in your cell phone and make a few copies for your car, grab-and-go kit, and your house. Start a group text message group with all of these numbers so you can communicate quickly.
  • Document emergency information you might need including medical information and insurance for all family members.
  • Choose an out-of-state contact you can call after a disaster. Sometimes when phone lines are jammed it is easier to make an out-of-state call. All members of your household can check in with the out-of-state contact.
  • In a major disaster plan to be self-sufficient for not less than 72 hours.
  • Determine how you will stay informed.
  • If you are unable to place a phone call, try texting. Texting is more likely to succeed and leaves more phone lines open for 9-1-1 calls.
  • Keep your important documents in a safe place and take them with you if you are required to evacuate. Documents should be uploaded digitally to the cloud and hard copies should be stored in a fire-safe place like a safe or in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.

Helping Children Prepare

If there are children in your household make sure you include them in the conversation and planning process. Have age-appropriate conversations about disasters that could affect your family and make sure kids know the family meeting locations. Plan in advance and notify your school or childcare who will pick up your children in case you are unable to get there. Also, ask your children’s school or daycare about their emergency and evacuation plans.

Make sure your children know these three things:

  • Their home address and family phone numbers
  • How and when to call 9-1-1
  • What to do if the smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm goes off

Helping those with Access and Functional Needs Prepare

If there are members of your household who may need additional assistance, make sure you have what you need to assist them with different types of disasters. Have a conversation with each person in your household to clearly understand their needs. For those with mobility impairments, plan several accessible routes to get to your planned meeting places. If you or anyone else depends on power for medical equipment, make sure to plan for power outages and have a backup battery power source. Consider storing backup equipment, such as a manual wheelchair, at a nearby accessible location. If anyone depends on daily medications, talk to their medical provider about obtaining an emergency supply of medicine.

Here are some individuals that may require additional support:

  • Older Adults
  • Non-Native English speakers
  • Pregnant women or parents with babies and/or small children
  • Homebound individuals
  • Post-surgery patients
  • People with physical or emotional disabilities
  • Individuals with no access to transportation
  • People with specific dietary needs

Some questions to consider as you think about supporting these members of your household:

  • Have they documented their medical history and any medications they are taking?
  • Is there anyone else who can help transport them if they are home alone when disaster hits?
  • Can others in your Support Network help you and them?
  • Can you help others in your Support Network?

Preparing for Pets and Service Animals

If you have a pet or service animal, make sure to include them in your plan. Aim to have a two-week supply of food and water. Have pet-related documentation, medications, and pet carrier ready to go. Keep a photo of you with your pet in case you are separated.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Once your family has created a plan, you should practice each component of it. Also, make sure, everyone knows where your emergency kits and information are stored. It is recommended that you review and practice your plan annually.

Refer to Ready.gov for more information.

Build an Emergency Supply Kit

After an emergency or disaster, you may be required to be self-sufficient for several days. Building a kit(s) and customizing it to the unique needs of you and your family is a critical component of preparedness. Consider building a stay kit and a go-bag to meet your immediate needs after a disaster. Stay kits have additional items that would be heavy to take with you, and go bags are ready to go when you must leave in a hurry.

Many of the things you should include in your emergency kit may already be in your home! Look around and begin assembling some key supplies:

  • Water: Bottled water (one gallon per person/per day for at least three days), water purification tablets
  • Food:  Non-perishable foods that do not need cooking (ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, or juices, protein or granola bars, cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, baby food, comfort foods)
  • Tools and Supplies: Manual can opener, Radio (battery-powered or hand crank), flashlight or lantern, extra batteries, cell phone with charger, wrench, pliers, and other basic tools
  • Personal Items: Prescription medications (two-week supply), personal hygiene items, eyeglasses, contact lenses, dentures, extra batteries or supplies for medical equipment, change of clothes, sturdy shoes
  • Pet supplies: Collar, leash, harness, crate, food, bowls, current photo, license, and medical information
  • Documents: Insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information, and other copies of important documents
  • Money: Extra cash in smaller denominations
  • Other Items:  First-aid kit, emergency whistle, waterproof matches/lighter, local area maps, sleeping bags, blankets, diapers, wipes, formula, baby food and supplies, and kid appropriate toys, games, puzzles, books, and any other comfort items

Additional items to consider during COVID-19:

  • Include face coverings and/or masks to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Include disinfectants, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies that you may need in an emergency.

Refer to Ready.gov for additional information on building an emergency supply kit.

Community Preparedness

We must prepare for the unexpected, as a community, by staying informed about the types of emergencies and disasters that may occur and continue to learn more about how we can prepare and safeguard ourselves and our community from these events. Now is the time to discuss emergency preparedness within your organization and with your friends, family, and neighbors. Working together will promote safety and resilience within our community. A resilient community can withstand a disaster and get back to normal quickly, even if normal isn’t the same as it was before. Remember, community preparedness starts at home. If you know that your family is prepared at home, you will be better able to help others in your community.

Here are some ways to promote community preparedness:

Individuals and families: Preparedness begins with you and your family! Do 1 thing every month. Sign up for a CPR, First Aid, and/or our local Community Emergency Response Team course. Many organizations offer public education, outreach, and training. To learn more about how you can prepare yourself and your family for an emergency or disaster, visit Get Ready California or Listos California.

Neighbors: Connect with your neighbors and discuss how you can prepare for disasters that may occur in your area. Establish a neighborhood plan. Discuss your needs, the steps to take while waiting for help to arrive, and multiple evacuation routes out of your neighborhood. Discuss what equipment or supplies can you share (e.g. temporary shelter, power generator, transportation, communication devices, first aid)? Reveal your skills and find out who among you has any medical and/or technical skills that may come in handy in an emergency. Find out who has children, seniors, people with disabilities, and pets in their homes. Decide who will check on and assist neighbors in advance.

Nonprofit, faith-based, and community-based organizations: Develop emergency plans and make preparedness a priority within your organization. Get involved by volunteering with nonprofit, faith-based, and community-based organizations. Many of these organizations offer education and training opportunities. To learn more about how you can prepare your organization for a disaster, visit Ready.org.

Businesses: Develop emergency and continuity plans. Make preparedness a priority with your employees. To learn more about how your business can prepare for an emergency or disaster, visit Ready.gov.