Disaster Preparedness

Dont wait, communicate. Make your emergency plan today. September is National Preparedness Month. The City of South Pasadena's emergency management program works in coordination with all City Departments to strengthen the City's ability to prepare for, to mitigate, to respond to and recover from any disaster. The Fire Department is the lead department to coordinate all emergency management activities for the City.

The City has an Emergency Management Program which includes all elements necessary to respond quickly and effectively to major emergencies. These elements include: an Emergency Operations Plan(PDF, 4MB) , Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Emergency Response Program, Public Education Program, and trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). A variety of activities, programs and projects designed to enhance the City's preparedness are conducted regularly such as training, drills, and disaster exercises.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

The EOC is located in the City of South Pasadena's Fire Department. It is central command for large scale events, emergencies or disasters in South Pasadena. Areas of command are divided into five sections based on the Standard Emergency Management Systems (SEMS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS); Management, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance. Sections are staffed by high level City of South Pasadena employees and partnering agencies.

Stay Informed with Connect South Pasadena.

The City of South Pasadena is a member of Disaster Management Area C, a partnership between the County of Los Angeles and ten local cities to "to promote the coordination of disaster management, planning and preparedness efforts".

Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP)

Natural hazards and extreme weather events are an ongoing part of the cycle of weather and seasons. Throughout history, the residents of the City of South Pasadena have dealt with the various hazards effecting the area. In the time of a natural hazard, a successful hazard mitigation strategy enables the implementation and sustaining of local actions that reduce vulnerability and risk from hazards, or reduce the severity of the effect of hazards on people and property. Learn more about the LHMP.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)


Picture of CERT Trainer Discussing with CERT traineesCERT is a community based group of volunteers that have completed a federally recognized training course taught by Public Safety personnel and First Responders. The training is a comprehensive program detailing the ways to assist friends, family, co-workers and the community in a small or large scale disaster

Under the leadership of the Fire Chief and the South Pasadena Public Safety Commission, and with the support of the City Executive Staff and City Council, we are pleased to announce that South Pasadena CERT has been registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and a 5-person administrative committee has been created to ensure its ongoing success.  

CERT Training educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills. Components include:

  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Fire Safety
  • Light Search and Rescue
  • CERT Team Organization
  • Disaster Medical Operations
  • Terrorism
  • Disaster Psychology

The South Pasadena Public Safety Commission’s goal for CERT training is to ensure that in the event of a major disaster, if fire, police, utility, and medical personnel are outnumbered by emergencies, neighbors will be trained to help with immediate life-saving and life sustaining needs.  

CERT 2024 Schedule(PDF, 172KB)

CERT Registration Instructions

CERT Basic Training - Registration
   - March 30, and April 6, 13, 2024 at 8:00am to 1:00pm each day
   - South Pasadena Fire Department (817 Mound Avenue, South Pasadena)
   - Please wear comfortable clothes (shorts OK) and sturdy shoes
This 15 hour course teaches the CERT Basics including Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, Search and Rescue, & Hazardous Materials. Must complete all 3 classes to graduate. In 95% of all emergencies, a neighbor, co-worker, or bystander is the first person at the scene of an emergency. Would you know what to do?

Please visit the link below for a digital version of the training manual for Basic CERT Training

CERT Basic Training - Registration
   - Tentative Dates October 26, and November 2, 9, 2024 from 8:00am to 1:00pm each day
   - South Pasadena Fire Department (817 Mound Avenue, South Pasadena)
   - Please wear comfortable clothes (shorts OK) and sturdy shoes
This 15 hour course teaches the CERT Basics including Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, Search and Rescue, & Hazardous Materials. Must complete all 3 classes to graduate. In 95% of all emergencies, a neighbor, co-worker, or bystander is the first person at the scene of an emergency. Would you know what to do?

Please visit the link below for a digital version of the training manual for Basic CERT Training


CERT Refresher Training - Registration
  - May 18, 2024 from 8:00am to 12:00pm each day
  - South Pasadena Fire Department (817 Mound Avenue, South Pasadena)
  - Please wear comfortable clothes (shorts OK) and sturdy shoes
This 4-hour course reviews the CERT Basics including Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, Search and Rescue, Hazardous Material, and other Incidents. To attend this class, you must have completed CERT training MORE than one year ago, and bring your CERT graduation certificate from your previous training location.


For more information, contact Anthony Corrao at 626-403-7300  or email CERT@southpasadenaca.gov.





Sign Up for Connect South Pasadena to Receive Important Information when you Need it Most

Connect South Pasadena - Sign Up for the City's Mass Notification System

The City of South Pasadena has launched Connect South Pasadena, the City’s emergency notification system so city officials can stay connected to residents and efficiently provide them with direction in the event of an earthquake, fire or other public emergency. Using Connect South Pasadena, City officials can record and send personalized voice messages to home phones, businesses, local agencies and mobile phones in just minutes.


Sign up for Connect South Pasadena, create a profile, and enter all the ways you would like public safety officials to try to contact you in an emergency – your mobile phone, your work email, anywhere you would need to receive important safety messages.  You can even register locations in South Pasadena of interest to you, such as your home, a relative’s home or your child’s school.  Should disaster strike, you’ll receive key information on where to go and what to do to keep you and your family safe.

Connect South Pasadena allows our public safety officials to disseminate vital information to thousands of subscribers in a short period of time, keeping our community informed in the time of an emergency.




In the event of:

Earthquake Extreme Heat Fire
Flu Wind


Living in Southern California, we all have a responsibility to be prepared for the next damaging earthquake. The Los Angeles region has a very seismically active past. With that in mind, the time is now to take steps to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the next seismic event.

Being prepared for earthquakes can be easy, we suggest you follow these simple steps:

  1. Get a Kit - We recommend that you are prepared to be on your own for up to 7 days. An emergency preparedness kit should include food, water, bedding, medications, pet preparedness materials, and other items you rely on.
  2. Make a Plan - Every individual, family business, and organization should have an emergency plan. An emergency plan should consist of important contact information, including out of state contacts and meeting place locations.
  3. Be Informed - Sign up for Connect South Pas.
Should an earthquake occur...

Drop!Cover!Hold On! Protect Yourself. Spread the Word.

Indoors: Drop, cover, and hold on. During earthquakes, drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops. If you are not near a desk or table, drop to the floor against the interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and kitchen cabinets with heavy objects or glass. Do not go outside!

In bed: If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are.

After an Earthquake...
Check for injuries:
  • If a person is bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound. Use clean gauze or cloth, if available.
  • Administer rescue breathing if necessary.
  • Carefully check children or others needing special assistance.
  • Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Get medical help for serious injuries.
Check for damage:
  • If possible, put out small fires immediately.
  • Shut off the main gas valve only if you suspect a leak. Wait for the gas company to turn it back on.
  • Shut off power at the main breaker switch if there is any damage to your house wiring. Unplug broken lights or appliances as they could start fires.
  • Hazardous materials such as bleach, chemicals, and gasoline should be covered with dirt or cat litter.
  • Stay away from chimneys or brick walls with visible cracks. Don't use a fireplace with a damaged chimney.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and objects in contact with them.
The first days after the earthquake:
  • Until you are sure there are no gas leaks, do not use open flames or operate any electrical or mechanical device that can create a spark.
  • Never use the following indoors: camp stoves, gas lanterns or heaters, gas or charcoal grills, or gas generators. These can release deadly carbon monoxide or be a fire hazard in atershocks.
  • Turn on your portable or car radio for information and safety advisories.
  • Check on the condition of your neighbors.
  • If power is off, plan meals to use up refrigerated and frozen foods first.
  • If your water is off or unsafe, you can drink from water heaters, melted ice cubes, or canned vegetables.
  • Report damage to your local building department and to your local office of emergency services.
Do not leave home just because utilities are out of service or your home and its contents have suffered only moderate damage.

If you cannot stay in your home: If you do evacuate, tell a neighbor and your out-of-state contact.

For more information regarding actions to take during an earthquake go towww.dropcoverholdon.org.

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Things you should know about fire

The City of South Pasadena does not face a significant wildfire threat. That being said, individuals can take steps to prevent fires and make their homes and families safer.

Home Fires

Fire safety preparation for the home is easy. Simple steps to take include developing a fire escape plan for your family, and educating family members, including children, about safe evacuation. Additionally, be sure to include pets in your family fire escape plan.

Smoke Alarms


Smoke alarms save lives.

"Almost two thrids of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms." - www.nfpa.org

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Test alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace batteries on all smoke alarms at least once a year.

Fire Extinguishers

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives.

  • Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher remember the word PASS
    • Pull the pin
    • Aim low and point the extinguisher at the base of the fire
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly
    • Sweep the nozzle from side to side
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when using the device so you can make an easy escape if necessary.

Extreme Heat

Whether you're sunbathing, bike riding or washing your car, on a hot day the symptons of a heat injury can sneak up on you.

Protect yourself and others by following these steps:
  • Avoid the sun from from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. when the burning rays are strongest.
  • Use a sunscreen with a sun protect factor (SPF) of at least 15 if you need to go out in the sun. Remember to apply sunscreen liberally to the chidlren in your care.
  • Water a wide-brimmed hat and light colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes when you're outdoors. This type of clothing reflects heat and sunlight, which helps you maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Reduce physical activity.
  • Avoid hot, heavy meals that include proteins. These meals increase your metabolism and water loss, and rais your body's natural way of cooling.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you aren't thirsty. Eight to ten glasses of water a day are recommended. Drink even if you are exercising or working in hot weather.
  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeine since the are diuretics (i.e., promote water loss).
Staying Cool: The Cool Center Program, sponsored by Southern California Edison, provides safe, air-conditioned facilities free for your use during hot summer days.

For more information about Cooling Centers in the Los Angeles area, click here.

Heat Injuries, Symptoms and First Aid:
  • Sunburn is usually a first-degree burn that involves just the outer surface of the skin. Symptoms include redness and pain. Severe cases may cause swelling, blisters, fever of 102 degrees or above and headaches.
    • First Aid: Use ointments, as well as cool baths or compresses, for less severe case. Don't break the blisters; if blisters do break, use a dry germ-free dressing. In severe cases, consult a physician.
  • Heat cramps often are related to dehydration. Symptoms include increased sweating with painful muscle spasms of the arms, legs and occasionally the abdomen.
    • First Aid: Remove the victim from the hot environment. Apply pressure on or gently massage the spastic muscles.
  • Heat exhaustion is the inability to sweat enough to cool yourself. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting as well as cold, clammy, pale, red or flushed skin. A marked body temperature rise will not occur.
    • First Aid: Remove the victim from the heat. Lay the victim down and loosen the clothing. Apply cold compresses and cool the body by fanning the victim or placing the victim in a cool environment. Consult a physician if vomiting continues.
  • Heatstroke occurs when the body stops sweating but the body temperature continues to rise. Symptoms include visual disturbances, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and, as the condition progresses, delirium or unconsciousness. The skin will be hot, dry, and red or flushed even under the armpits. This condition is a severe medical emergency that could be fatal.
    • First Aid: Consult a physician immediately or call 9-1-1. Remove clothing and place victim in a cool environmnet, sponge the body with cool water or place the victim in a cool bath. Continue the process until temperature decreases. DO NOT PROVIDE FLUIDS to an unconscious victim.

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HEALTH TIP: Get the flu shot! Prevent the flu!

While pandemic flu is of great concern, the seasonal flu causes a great deal of illnesses and death every year. Preventive measures such as frequent hand washing and getting your annual flu shot are ways to keep healthy.

While the flu shot is especially important for those who are most likely to get very sick from flu (such as elderly and infants), anyone wishing to get the shot should do so. Even if you are not concerned about getting the flu, people rarely keep their illnesses to themselves- avoid spreading the flu to others. Get the shot and help to keep our community healthy.

Find a flu shot near you: www.flu.gov

Seasonal Flu When sick, get plent of rest, drink lots of fluids, and stay home to keep from getting others sick.
  • Simple over-the-counter medicines are usually all people need to feel better (pain relievers, cough drops, etc.)
  • Children should never be given aspirin when they have the flu since it may cause a rare but serious condition called Reye's Syndrome.
  • Remember, antibiotics don't work for flu viruses. Most people will not need to see a doctor when they have the flu, but if symptoms become very severe (problems breathing and extreme weakness) and if fever lasts for more than 2-3 days, call your doctor.
Pandemic Flu Many of the simple steps to prepare for a flu pandemic are what you should do for a wide range of other emergencies, these include:
  • Talk to your family members. It is important to think about the health issues that could affect you and your family during a pandemic or other emergency.
  • Store food and water. During a pandemic, you and your family may not be able to get to a store, so it is important to have water and food items that won't spoil.
  • Create a medical supply kit and a family emergency health information sheet. Include prescription medications, pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold remedies, and first aid materials. List the important medical information that you might need for all of your family, such as: serious health conditions, allergies, and medications that you and your family need.

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  • Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs may break and street signs may become loose during strong wind gusts. Keep an eye toward mearby balconies for loose objects that may fall.
  • Take cover next to a building or under a shelter. Stand clear of roadways or train tracks, as a gust may blow you into the path of oncoming vehicles.
  • Use handrails where available on outdoor walkways and avoid other elevated areas such as roofs without adequate railing.
  • Avoid anything that may be touching downed power lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Puddles and event wet or snow-covere ground can conduct electricity in some cases. Warn others to stay away.
  • Do not touch anyone who has been shocked who may be in direct or indirect contact with a power line. You may be a second victim. Get medical attention as quickly as possible by calling 9-1-1.
At Home If you don't have to go out, stay home.
  • Secure or bring inside all lawn furniture and other outside objects that could become a projectile in high winds.
  • During the storm, draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home. Remain a safe distance from windows.
  • If your garage has an electric door opener, locate the manual release lever and know how to operate it.
  • Keep pets inside and ensurethey have shelter from the wind.
  • Prepare a kit with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and warm clothing, emergency phone numbers, a first aid kit and other items you might need if power is out for several days.
  • Stock up on shelf-stable foods such as canned goods, juices, peanut butter, energy bars, trail mixes and "no-freeze" entrees.
  • Plan ahead ways to keep foods cold. Buy some freeze-pack inserts and keep them frozen. Buy a cooler. Freeze water in plastic jubs or containers or store bags of ice.
  • Install surge protectors and/or battery systems for computers.
  • Do not run generators, gas grills, or other carbon monoxide producing equipment indoors while power is out.
  • Stay away from chain link fences around downed power lines. They can be electric conductors.
  • Most mobile/manufactured hoes are not built to withstand severe wind conditions. If informed by city officials, evacuate to a safer location.
In the Car
  • Driving is extremely difficult and dangerous in high winds especially for high-profile vehicles such as busses, trucks, vans and RVs.
  • Use extreme caution around downed trees and power lines. Assume any downed power line is live.
  • If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Take care not to touch any part of the metal fram of your vehicle. If vehicle catches fire, open the door, but do not step out. Jump, without touching any of the metal portions of the car's exterior, to safe ground and get quickly away.
  • Slow down for debris in the street.
  • Be aware of City workers clearing debris and working to restore power.
  • Treat all non-working taffic signal lights at intersections as stop signs.
  • Slow down for traffic officers at intersections with non-working signal lights.




Preparedness Information for Residents Preparedness Information for Businesses
Disaster Assistance information for Residents Disaster Assistance information for Businesses

For Residents

The City of south Pasadena encourages everyone to be prepared for emergencies up to 7 days. People should be prepared for emergencies in their home, workplace and car. We recommend everyone follow these three simple steps:

1. Get a Kit
  • Food and water
  • First Aid supplies
  • Contact information
  • Special needs supplies, including kids and pets
  • Flashlight/ radio
  • Blankets, clothing and sturdy shoes
2. Have a Plan
  • Talk with friends and family about communicating after a disaster
  • Be sure that all contact information and phone numbers are updated
  • Keep contact information on a piece of paper in your wallet or purse, not only in cell phones
  • We suggest text messaging, instead of telephone calls during and after a disaster
  • Identify a primary and secondary meeting location in case your home is inaccessible
3. Be informed


For Businesses

Be a partner and make South Pasadena the most resilient community in Southern California.

The emergency management program is developing partnerships with businesses to better prepare for response and recovery in emergencies and incidents that may impact South Pasadena.

The High Price of not being prepared

  • Companies that do not resume operations at some level withn ten days of a disaster are not likely to survive.
  • Of businesses that experience a disaster and have no emergency plan, 43% never reopen; of those that do reopen, only 29% are still operating two years later.

Preparedness Planning for your Business

 Bussinesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today's world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software.

The five steps in developing a preparedness program are:

  • Program Management
    • Organize, develop and administer your preparedness program
    • Identify regulations that establish minimum requirements for your program
  • Planning
    • Gather information about hazards and assess risks
    • Conduct a business impact analysis (BIA)
    • Examine ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks
  • Implementation - Write a preparedness plan addressing:
    • Resource management
    • Emergency response
    • Crisis communications
    • Business continuity
    • Information technology
    • Employee assistance
    • Incident management
    • Training
  • Testing and Exercises
    • Test and evaluate your plan
    • Define different types of exercises
    • Use exercise results to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan
  • Program Improvement
    • Identify when the preparedness program needs to be reviewed
    • Discover methods to evaluate the preparedness program
    • Utilize the review to make necessary changes and plan improvements

Disaster Assistance Information

The Individual Assistance coordinates with federal, state, local, and voluntary/non-profit entities to provide recovery assistance following a disaster that impacts individuals and households, businesses, and/or the agricultural community in the State of California.

Individuals and Households

When individuals and households are affected by an emergency or disaster, assistance may come in a variety of ways. This may include government, non-profit, volunteer and faith-based agencies/organizations. Although disaster assistance programs are not designed to return you to pre-disaster conditions, they may help you begin the Recovery Process.


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations in declared disaster areas damaged by floods and other acts of nature, riots, civil disorders, or industrial accidents such as oil spolls. SBA is the primary form of federal assistance for the repair and rebuilding of non-farm business disaster losses.

  • Physical Disaster Loans are for permanent rebuilding and replacement of uninsured or underinsured disaster-damaged privately-owned real and/or personal property. SBA makes physical disaster loans up to $2.0 million to qualified businesses or private non-profit organizations.
  • Economic Disaster Injury Loans - If your business or private non-profit organization is located in a declared disaster area, and suffered substantial economic injury as a direct result of a declared disaster, you are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

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The Red Guide to Recovery Newsletter
March / April 2016

With more El Niño storms on the way and tornado season right around the corner, protecting your home from severe weather and being prepared to recover is crucial. There are six specific services you may find yourself in need of if your home gets damaged by wind, hail, rain, or flooding. More often than not, these services can be extremely difficult to find after a storm, especially if high winds, large hail, or a tornado causes wide scale devastation. Keep in mind that severe storms can overwhelm local resources, causing a shortage of manpower, equipment, and material. This often sets the stage for price gouging, scams, theft, and other problems brought on by the influx of fly-by-night contractors who chase disasters and prey on vulnerable disaster survivors.

As part of your disaster preparedness planning, you need to know who to call in the event your home gets damaged and here are six of the most common services you may need:

1] A Roofing Contractor

If your roof is damaged by wind, hail, or a tree that falls on it, you'll need a roofer to come out and tarp the roof or make emergency repairs until permanent repairs can be made.

2] A Tree Service

After a storm, it is common to see fallen trees on roads, yards, and even on homes. A professional tree service will have all the right tools and equipment to remove a fallen tree and haul it away. (TIP: If a tree falls through your roof, any electrical wires and/or gas lines in the attic are likely to get damaged. This can cause a fire or an explosion! Know where and how to shutoff the electricity and gas in your home. See Chapter 11 in The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors for more information.)

3] A Fencing Contractor

Wood fences don't fare well when it comes to high winds, especially if the fencing is older or if the posts are rotted. If your fence gets damaged, your pets could escape and the security of your yard and home will be compromised.

4] A Flood Mitigation Company

If your home gets flooded or suffers water damages, you'll need someone to come out and extract the water and/or dry out the affected areas. Flood mitigation companies usually have truck mounted water extraction vacuums, drying fans, dehumidifiers, and other specialized drying equipment used specifically for structural drying. They can also be very helpful in reducing the risk of toxic mold growth. (TIP: If you can't find a flood mitigation company and need someone to extract flood water, consider using a carpet cleaning company.)

5] A Moving or Pack Out Company

If your home is seriously damaged by a storm or flood, you may need to have your furniture, clothes, and personal property packed up and moved out. This is usually necessary so the structural repairs or cleaning can be done. (TIP: Be wary of scams when hiring a moving or pack out company! Read Chapter 5 and Chapter 14 in The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors for more information.)

6] A Restoration Contractor

These companies usually have the capability to perform most or all of the previously mentioned services. They can also be a valuable asset when it comes time to create an estimate for the repairs and work with your insurance adjuster. A good restoration company can provide the immediate services you may need after a storm, as well as help expedite the restoration and recovery process.

If you'd like to be better prepared for recovery, get your copy of
The Red Guide to Recovery today at the link below.

Go here to get more info:

FREE Resources - go here for resource links and tools to help you prepare or recover from a disaster: