Emergency Preparedness Committee

The Cypress HOA Emergency Preparedness Committee's goal is to help homeowners prepare for and deal with natural disasters that affect our community.  If you are interested in learning how you can help protect your family and neighbors, please get involved! More info on contact person soon. 


Emergency Preparedness Committee Survey

Please fill out the survey linked below to give the Emergency Preparedness Committe information that will be used to help during an emergency.

Click here to fill out the survey


Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.


Visit http://www.westcountycert.com/ for information on upcoming classes.



Emergency Preparedness Tips

  1. Did you know that fire extinguishers go bad? I always thought that as long as it showed the pressure as green, it was good to go. The best way to test your fire extinguisher is to hire a professional. However, a casual way to test most common extinguishers is to flip it over and see if the contents shift from the bottom to the top. If the weight stays at the bottom, then all the powder has likely stuck together and the extinguisher will be useless during a fire. If you are going to buy a new extinguisher, they have white extinguishers for kitchens that contain chemicals that won't damage your pans and appliances.   Also note that most home fire extinguishers have only 10-20 seconds of discharge time and are for one time use only.
  2. Do you know what to do if you need to turn off your water or electricity in an emergency? Your electrical circuit breakers are located behind your unit near the car port. Lift up the metal panel above the glass meter and flip the switches to the other side. Your water main is located in front of your house by the hose nozzle. No tool is necessary so just switch the lever from pointing up to pointing sideways and it will be off. The water currently in your pipes will still be there but no new water will enter your home. You also probably know that there are no natural gas lines to turn off.
  3. What is the single most important supply to have in an emergency? Water. Think about what would happen in an earthquake that is significant enough that you would need to use any of your emergency supplies. You would most likely lose utilities like power and water. Assuming you can get into your home, you would still be able to eat all the food in your cabinets and refrigerator but what would you drink or clean with? You can live about three weeks without food but only about three days without water. Living in an HOA with no garage and limited outdoor space, it may seem like there is no room to store water. However, one Costco case of water has enough for one person for a little over 4 days. You can find space in your home or outside closets to store at least one case of water per person. This is a valuable investment in your family’s safety.
  4. On average, Americans spend about a third of their time in bed. It is also one of the places you are least ready to leave the house in an emergency. Consider placing a pair of old shoes or sandals near your bed. If you need to leave in an emergency, you are going to want them to get out of the house quickly. This is a simple way to protect yourself.
  5. We have all become so used to paying everything with checks, credit cards, or debit cards that many of us carry little cash. Those that do carry cash often primarily have $20 bills. What happens then during an emergency when there is no electricity to run the machines we usually pay with? Maybe stores will have change but you are likely to find situations where you have a choice between paying $20 for a gallon of water or not getting it. Storing money in small denominations in your emergency kit as well as some change (for pay phones) is an easy way to help yourselves out later.
  6. As a parent of a 3-year-old, I know how quickly children can go from entertained to bored and then a handful. In an emergency, what are your children (or you for that matter) going to do during a stressful time with fewer options for entertaining your family? Consider including materials in your emergency kits such as a deck of cards, coloring books and markers, reading books, puzzle books like Sudoku, or other items to keep the family busy.
  7. Having a thorough emergency kit is wonderful for your home. However, what will you do during all the time you are at work or all the time you spend commuting around? Consider creating or buying a ready-made “Go Bag” for your car and/or work. Go bags are small, mobile emergency kits that contain the essential items you need. To purchase one or find out what you need to include in one, just search for “Go Bag” online and many results will come up.
  8. We all know that in an emergency it is very difficult to get through to someone when making a phone call. Did you know that sending a text message is much more likely to go through? Text messages use very little bandwidth compared to a voice call so many more are able to be completed. Also, when you make a phone call, getting through is hit or miss. You either get through or you have to keep trying over and over. When you send a text message you get put in a queue and eventually your message will get sent. You do not need to keep trying to send it over and over again. So, coordinate with your family and friends to include text messaging as a means to communicate in an emergency.
  9. One of the scariest aspects about a major emergency is not being able to communicate with loved ones. A well-known but often unused resource is to arrange for an out-of-state contact to be the point-person in an emergency. If you try calling 911 or other local phone numbers for help and are unable to get through, what are you going to do? Calling an out-of-state contact gives you someone who can take all your information and relay it for you. Give your contact the local numbers for Cypress Police Department (714.229.6600) and Cypress Fire Department (714.573.6000). Also make sure your family all calls the same out-of-state contact.
  10. What are you going to eat during an emergency? This is not always an easy question. Much of the food you eat often needs replacement often or requires significant preparation. Canned food lasts longer but still needs to be prepared and is often not as appetizing. You can buy freeze dried food, meals ready to eat (MREs), or emergency rations that last many years but can be expensive. My recommendation is to try for a mixture of these food items including looking for options with the longest shelf lives. Make sure you don’t forget the reality of what your family will actually eat. If you have picky eaters that refuse to eat your food options, it is going to be a difficult situation. Also, don’t forget comfort foods that will help put smiles on faces in difficult times.
  11. Have you wondered if we would be affected by a tsunami?  According to the California Emergency Management Agency the answer is no we will not be affected.  You can view a map of the expected flooding areas closest to our HOA here: http://tinyurl.com/CHOA-tsunami or see how other areas near our HOA will fare here: http://tinyurl.com/LACounty-tsunami.  The closest water is expected to come up the riverbed that runs along the 605 and go as far as a half a mile south of Katella.  No other water is expected to go over land anywhere close to where we live.