Emergency Preparedness

Preparing for a disaster is an important part of keeping you, families, local businesses, schools, faith communities, senior citizens, those with access and functional needs, and all of Palo Alto safe.

Planning and preparing for this eventuality may save your life, minimize property damage, and reduce economic loss. Palo Alto has over 65,000 residents, but only 40-50 first responders on duty at any given time. Learning and preparing to be self-sufficient for at least 14 days will help you make it through a large disaster.

Know Your Hazards 

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The City of Palo Alto residents, businesses, schools, faith communities, and special populations face potential hazards from natural, intentional, and unintentional causes. Familiarize yourself with the threats and hazards facing Palo Alto.


Stay Informed

The Office of Emergency Services provides multiple options to receive public warnings and emergency alerts. Contact us or stay connected if you're interested in following Palo Alto Public Safety.

Sign up for alerts, stay connected, contact us.

Be Prepared

  • Individuals & Families.  Learn how to prepare for the range of hazards that exist in Palo Alto.  We offer steps to know your hazards, make a plan, build a kit and stay informed. 

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  • Businesses. FEMA's Ready.Gov provides helpful resources to help you plan for and recover from emergencies that may impact your business.  

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  • Faith Communities. Faith-based preparedness is important during emergencies so that staff and congregants know what to do. Faith-based organizations can also play an important role in a disaster to help the community during and after the emergency.

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  • Seniors.  If you are an older adult living in the community, you may face some challenges during an emergency. For example, you may have mobility problems, or chronic health conditions, or you may not have any family or friends nearby to support you. Support services that are usually available, such as help from caregivers or in-home health care and meal delivery services, may be unavailable for a period of time. In addition, older adults may experience challenges that come with advanced age, such as hearing or vision problems or cognitive impairment, which may make it difficult to access, understand, and respond to emergency instructions.

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  • Access & Functional Needs.  Those with disabilities or special needs can be most at risk during emergency situations.  It is so important to plan ahead to ensure you have assistive devices, supplies, a transportation plan, and more when the situation calls for it.  Start your emergency planning now.

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Preparedness Brochures Translated: Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish

You can now download our emergency preparedness brochures in four languages: Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Russian, and Spanish.


Get Involved

PALO ALTO's ESV PROGRAM.  Are you a Palo Alto resident who wants to be involved in your neighborhood?  Do you feel that you can help your neighbors?  Learn more about our Emergency Services Volunteer program.

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Last updated on February 21, 2023