BE PREPARED for a Disaster

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How Ready Are You? A Preparedness Quiz

What would you do if a major earthquake or wildfire were to occur in Santa Barbara affecting our beautiful neighborhood?

If you had to evacuate, where would you go? What would you do with your pet? Would your insurance cover you if your house were damaged?

Take the preparedness quiz below, writing down your letter answers, and use it to determine how really prepared you are!

If the power went out during the evening, I would:

A. Sit in the dark, waiting for the power to come back on.

B. Light candles.

C. Search the kitchen drawers for flashlight batteries: they've got to be there somewhere.

D. Know exactly where to find flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and fresh batteries.

If our home were without water for a day or two, we would:

A. Drink soda or juice and wash up at the YMCA or the office.

B. Visit relatives or friends where we could take showers and use the bathroom.

C. Check the bottled water stored in the garage and try to remember how old it is.

D. Drink and wash from a supply of bottled water that we replace every few months.

Our Important papers and records are:

A. Misplaced, we have no idea where they are.

B. Scattered in various locations throughout the house.

C. Filed in the home office.

D. Secured in a water and fireproof box.

We've made the following arrangements for our pets:

A. We have no plans. Why do we need a plan? They go wherever we go.

B. We'd leave them at home with plenty of food and water.

C. We'd take them with us, hoping we could find a shelter or hotel that will accept pets.

D. We've made plans with family, friends and our vet to take them at a moment's notice.

During an emergency, I would depend on the following for information:

A. My neighbors.

B. The television.

C. The internet.

D. A battery powered radio.

If I suddenly had to leave my home for five days, I would:

A. Hang out at the mall and wait to hear how long before we could return.

B. Throw some clothes and necessities in a suitcase and take an impromptu vacation.

C. Leave, then coordinate with family members or friends about what to do.

D. Grab my emergency kit and follow the steps in our family preparedness plan.

My emergency kit is:

A. We don't have one.

B. A drawer with flashlights and batteries, bottled water in the garage, a first aid kit in the bathroom.

C. A bin with flashlights and batteries, bottled water, canned foods and a first aid kit.

D. Water to last 3 days, a battery-powered radio and flashlights with extra batteries, canned food, a first aid kit, extra medications and a potable "go" kit in the car.

If my neighbor told me to evacuate, I would:

A. Refuse to leave. Most "emergencies" don't turn out to be a big deal.

B. Wait to see if the situation worsened, then decide.

C. Wait for evacuation orders from the local fire department or police.

D. Follow the advice of local responders and evacuate immediately to ensure my safety and theirs.

I've made the following plans for my family members if I am not at home:

A. Nothing specific, the authorities will take care of them.

B. I would call them and together we'd decide what to do as the situation unfolds.

C. We've agreed that they would call the nearest relative to come and get them.

D. I've helped them assemble their own emergency kit, and we have an extended family plan for relocating them if they need to leave.

How Did You Do?

"D" is the best answer to all these questions. If you answered "D," you are as prepared as you can reasonably be.

If you answered "C" to most questions, you're on the right track, but still not prepared enough.


EHIA’s volunteer member efforts have built a strong response network. 

Our goal is to help our small community be self-sufficient in disasters when first responders are overwhelmed.

Our system has been praised by local emergency experts, and other homeowner groups are now following our lead. Our efforts include:

  • Telephone tree network to rapidly inform EHIA residents of impending danger (used successfully in Jesusita Fire).

  • Email ALERT networks to homeowners from block volunteers.

  • Block volunteer program with over thirty-five volunteers who have collected data on their blocks regarding special needs, skills, and equipment.

  • Radio Network: a base station, repeater system, battery back-up, antenna, and twenty-six radios with trained operators throughout the Eucalyptus Hill neighborhood.

  • Our website.

  • Red Flag Warning program ready to activate in high fire danger weather conditions.

  • We have numerous Community Emergency Response Team CERT) trained neighborhood volunteers. 

These programs require a constant inflow of volunteers. If you would like to join our collective effort, we welcome any time you can offer. Email us at for more information.


A Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) to inform area firefighters and land management agencies that conditions are heightened for wildland fire ignition and rapid fire propagation.

When humidity is very low and especially when high or erratic winds which may include lightning are a factor, the Red Flag Warning becomes a critical statement for firefighting agencies. Local fire agencies often increase their staffing and equipment resources to accommodate the forecast risk.

To the public, a Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within twenty-four hours.

What Should I Do During a Red Flag Alert Warning?

  • Review your Wildfire Action Plan spelled out in the Cal Fire Ready, Set, Go brochure with your entire household and practice it regularly.

  • Have a minimum of two routes in which to evacuate out of your area.

  • Have an out of the area emergency contact incase local phone service is interrupted.

  • Have a portable Disaster Kit ready to take with you if you are asked to evacuate. It should contain all of your important paperwork, required medications and other valuables.

  • Keep up to date through local media, DO NOT call 911.

  • Collect pets and have them so you can quickly load them in the event you must evacuate.

  • Park your vehicles facing out in your driveway to keep roads accessible for emergency equipment.

  • Have your driver’s license with proof of residence on you, in case of road closures.

  • Communicate with neighbors to make them aware of the increase fire and safety risk.