June, 2014

Earthquakes and Neighborhood Planning

In this month’s bulletin, with the support of Councilmen Tom LaBonge and Mitchell Englander, the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department (EMD) will discuss neighborhood planning efforts for an earthquake.

In the event of a large earthquake or disaster, rescuers may not be in a position to provide immediate help to some individuals. It is important for neighborhoods to establish a plan for self-sufficiency in case such an event ever occurs. Neighbors should be prepared to help themselves for several days to weeks depending on the size of the disaster and ensure that their plans include considerations for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Although building a disaster plan for your neighborhood may sound like a daunting task, EMD breaks this process down into five manageable steps:

Define your area – Identify a manageable area, your apartment building, one city block, a few small surrounding streets, etc, that you can organize with relative ease.
Recruit leaders – Develop a team of leaders who can help build the plan and carry out emergency support activities when the time comes.
Scout your area – Get to know the lay of the land: what resources you have, what the landscape is, and disasters or other emergencies common to your area.
Build your team – Find out who lives in your area, how they can help in a disaster, and who may need extra help.
Plan your approach – Create a plan that outlines what your neighborhood will do before, during, and after a disaster
You can find more about each of these steps using the “You Can Build a Neighborhood Disaster Plan in Just 5 Steps” and other supporting publications from the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department website:


Sample Disaster Plan

Plan Template

Facilitator Guide

Neighborhood Survey