By Tom Welch, Mill Valley Fire Chief

Emergency planning is about keeping you and your family safe, warm and fed after a disaster.
Your family members may not be in the same place when an emergency strikes, so plan now about how you will contact each other and what to do in different situations.

When discussing your plan, include your whole household & family, as well as any caregivers. Bring up the types of disasters that are likely to happen in Mill Valley. Discuss what you need to do in a wildfire, earthquake, flood, landslide or winter storm.

​Make the plan and rehearse it regularly.

If you have school-age children, familiarize yourself with the school emergency plan, and let your child know that they will be cared for until you or a family member/ friend can pick them up. Let them know who you have chosen as your
authorized adult for pick-up and advise the school.

Get Ready
In the event of a major disaster, plan on what you will need to eat, sleep, and survive on your own – with or without shelter – for at least 5-7 days. Assemble & store supplies in a secure location outside your home – a storage bin/garbage can may be used.
If a wildland fire threatens or if flooding is imminent, you may need to leave your home. This can happen quickly and each family member should be ready to go. Make a small bag or backpack NOW for each family member and leave in a closet near an exit door/under the bed.

Grab & Go Checklist – detailed at CityofMillValley.org/EPC

  • Eating & Cooking – emergency food, paper/plastic ware, paper towels, can opener, cooking source and fuel, water purification, pet food, etc.
  • Sanitation – portable toilet/bucket, toilet paper, hygiene supplies, garbage bags, shovel, diapers, etc.
  • Tools – wrench, matches, rope, axe, duct tape, tarp, fire extinguisher, flashlights, etc.
  • Health & Safety – water (min. 1 gallon a day per person/pet), tent & sleeping bags, extra clothing & shoes, first aid kit, dust masks, safety goggles, etc.
  • Flashlights, radio, batteries
  • List of important numbers
  • Cash in small denominations
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Safety goggles, cotton gloves and dusk mask to protect against smoke/heat
  • Extra clothing & shoes
  • Items for infants, elderly, and children, pets, and special needs

First responders may ask you to move fast, so have a Grab & Go Checklist of important items that you can collect quickly. Leave this checklist at the top of each Evacuation Bag.

Priority items for your family may include:

  • Wallet & cash
  • Keys (including safety deposit key)
  • Medications
  • Eyeglasses/medical aids
  • Cell phone & chargers
  • Laptops, hard drives, etc.
  • Important financial documents & passports
  • Family jewelry/heirlooms and photos (on hard drive)
  • Pets, pet leashes, and carriers

The City of Mill Valley’s Emergency Preparedness Commission offers a comprehensive Emergency Planning Brochure at CityofMillvally.org/epc.

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