Community Disaster Guide E-Book
Stay Safe Ojai – Emergency Preparedness
WILDFIRE IS COMING. ARE YOU READY?
PLAN. PREPARE. STAY AWARE.
The geography, weather patterns and number of Wildland Urban Interface communities in California make it a state particularly threatened by devastating wildfire. As catastrophic wildfires continue to increase each year in California, make sure to protect yourself and your family – plan, prepare and stay aware. Property owners and residents in areas most at risk are encouraged to take the steps in CAL FIRE “Ready, Set, Go!” to be ready for wildfire.
Get prepared for wildfire before it strikes by following Ready, Set, Go!
- Be Ready: Create and maintain defensible space and harden your home against flying embers.
- Get Set: Prepare your family and home ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate. Ensure you have a plan of what to take and where to go – evacuation plans will be different this year due to COVID-19. Ask friends or relatives outside your area if you would be able to stay with them, should the need arise. If you do need to evacuate and plan to stay with friends or relatives, ask first if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have people in their home at higher risk for serious illness. If that is the case, make other arrangements. Check with hotels, motels and campgrounds to learn if they are open.
- Also get set by learning about your community’s response plan for each disaster and determine if these plans have been adapted because of COVID-19.
- Be Ready to GO!: When wildfire strikes, go early for your safety. Take the evacuation steps necessary to give your family and home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.
For more information, visit https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/ready-set-go/
Get Ready to ShakeOut
You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes: at home, at work, at school, or even on vacation. Are you prepared to survive and to recover quickly? Great ShakeOut earthquake drills are an opportunity to practice how to be safer during earthquakes.
You and your family are encouraged to practice earthquake drills throughout the year. Here’s what to do during a drill:
DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings, you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.
If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.
If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
For more ShakeOut resources, please click here.
Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)
Due to weather conditions, power may have to be shut off to electrical circuits in High Fire Risk Areas in Ojai. SCE customers on the potentially affected circuits will be notified to give time to prepare.
Please take some time to get prepared now. There are simple steps residents of the Ojai Valley can begin taking now to be better prepared for a disaster.
Below are some tips on how individuals, families, 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
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.
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:
If you have any questions contact the City of Ojai at (805) 646-5581.
Title 3 of the Ojai Municipal Code requires that the City’s Disaster Council develop emergency and mutual aid plans and agreements. It also requires that the Disaster Council make recommendations to the City Council for adoption of these plans.
Please visit https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/ for the latest information about the coronavirus.
At the August 24, 2021 City Council meeting, the Council unanimously adopted an Ojai Wildfire Resiliency Framework, which includes steps to create a fire-adapted community and to further develop the City’s emergency communications.
The City has an existing Emergency Operations Plan that is literally hundreds of pages and focuses on emergency operations and Standardized Emergency Management Systems (SEMS) that are generally applicable across various emergency situations. The draft Ojai Wildfire Resiliency Framework will not replace that plan, but instead is 13 tasks that are focused specifically on helping the community be better prepared for the next wildfire. Many of these tasks have been in process by staff since the Thomas Fire, but the plan ties these items together. For example, some of the tasks already completed or in process by the City Council and staff include:
- The City Council has already assigned the Building Appeals Board to review home hardening building codes, and the review is in process
- The City held its first Emergency Preparedness Day this year.
- The City has been in ongoing discussions with the Ventura County Offices of Emergency Services regarding potential evacuation shelter options.
- The City has grown and improved the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) functions with multiple trainings since 2019.
- The City has replaced and improved the AM radio station equipment
- The City has obtained new emergency notification software that is utilized in the City’s “My Ojai” app, which launched earlier this year, and better utilized Facebook during the recent COVID emergency.
- The City has focused on developing the partnership between County OES/EOC, Fire and Police, by including these groups in trainings and Disaster Council meetings.
This Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) addresses the City of Ojai’s planned response to extraordinary emergency situations associated with natural disasters, technological incidents, and national security emergencies. The plan does not address normal day‐to‐day emergencies or the well established and routine procedures used in coping with such emergencies. Instead, the operational concepts reflected in this plan focus on potential large‐scale disasters that can generate unique situations requiring unusual emergency responses.
This plan is a preparedness document—designed to be read, understood, and exercised prior to an emergency. It is designed to include the City of Ojai as part of the California Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
This plan provides basic planning information. City departments must prepare standard operating procedures and, in some cases, more detailed checklists which will describe their internal operations under emergency conditions.
- The City of Ojai is primarily responsible for emergency actions and will commit all available resources to save lives, minimize injury to persons, and minimize damage to property.
- The City of Ojai will utilize SEMS/NIMS in emergency response operations.
- The Director of Emergency Services, City Manager, will coordinate the City’s disaster response in conformance with its Municipal Code.
- The City of Ojai will participate in the Ventura County Operational Area.
- The resources of the City of Ojai will be made available to local agencies and citizens to cope with disasters affecting this area.
- The City will commit its resources to a reasonable degree before requesting mutual aid assistance.
- Mutual aid assistance will be requested when disaster relief requirements exceed the City’s ability to meet them.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT GOALS
- Provide effective life safety measures and reduce property loss and protect the environment.
- Provide for the rapid resumption of impacted businesses and community services.
- Provide accurate documentation and records required for cost recovery efforts.