As your Mayor, my greatest priority is keeping you and your family safe — and as a father, I know exactly how it feels to worry about making sure you’ve done everything possible to safeguard your loved ones in case a natural disaster strikes.
That’s why prevention and preparedness is at the heart of everything we do in City government to reduce risk, respond to emergencies, and empower you with the tools you need to prepare your household.
Here in Southern California, wildfires and earthquakes are facts of life. We live atop criss-crossing fault lines that make the “Big One” inevitable. We have fire season marked on our calendars, and we know that stretch will last longer and involve even more intense blazes as a result of the climate crisis.
So I want to make sure you know about everything our City team is doing to keep you ready and safe.
I’m proud that we have the finest fire department in the country — and the brave men and women who put their lives on the line deserve every possible tool we can give them to stop the spread of fires faster.
When I took office, the City was still reckoning with the aftermath of the Great Recession. Resources were scarce and response times were too long. Fire engines were being taken away from neighborhoods. Our firefighters weren’t getting the pay they had earned, and their department wasn’t getting the resources it needed.
So I made it my mission to write a new chapter in the story of the LAFD — and we have. We’ve restored engine companies and equipped firefighters with state-of-the-art technology to help them tackle any blaze.
48 New Firefighters
This week, I unveiled a new fire-fighting helicopter that we’re adding to our fleet, and an air crane contracted by the LAFD to quickly extinguish fires. We put these new aircraft into service on August 1 to stay one step ahead of the height of fire season.
The work of building a more fire resilient city does not just rest with the LAFD — it’s on all of us. Every Angeleno needs to stay vigilant and prepare their homes and families in case of a fire.
Here’s what you can do today to get ready:
- Go to LAFD.org to read more about how to check your property for fire risk, report a hazard, or contact the LAFD brush unit.
- Sign up for free emergency alerts on your phone by texting READY to 888-777.
If you see smoke or flames, call 911 as soon as possible — every second counts.
- Make a plan with your family and organize essential papers and valuables so you’re ready to go immediately if the LAFD issues evacuation orders for your neighborhood.
Preparing for Earthquakes
We’re leading the charge on earthquake preparedness, with the first publicly available earthquake early warning mobile app in the nation, ShakeAlertLA. The app gives you critical seconds of warning when a major earthquake has started, so you can take action to protect yourself before the shaking starts.
After hearing your feedback from the Ridgecrest earthquakes on the 4th of July, we announced an update to the app to reduce the threshold from 5.0 to 4.5 magnitude within L.A. County and deliver more alerts to your phone.
Be sure you have the latest version on your phone or take a look at your app store today.
Early warning is just a part of our strategy to prepare and protect Angelenos before the “Big One” hits. I’ve worked alongside our public safety teams, and leading experts like Dr. Lucy Jones, to boost our resilience. Together, we spearheaded a historic building retrofit ordinance to fortify vulnerable structures and save lives in the event of a major quake.
More than 2,600 soft-story retrofits have been completed across L.A., and over 10,200 more are in progress. You can read how we’re boosting our city’s strength in our plan, Resilient Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is a leader in preparedness, and I need you to be our partner in this work.
Here are a few more ways you can get prepared:
- Download the ShakeAlertLA app in the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Assemble an emergency kit with all the supplies you need for your family and your pets.
- Learn more about our READY YOUR L.A. NEIGHBORHOOD (RYLAN) initiative to get free assistance to prepare your family and neighborhood for an emergency.
Together, we can make sure we’re ready to handle any crisis — and pull through stronger and safer than ever before, like we always do in our City of Angels.