Fire Department
Fire Department


No One's Prepared Until Everyone's Prepared is Berkeley's gateway to a variety of emergency preparedness and safety information.


Photo of EDITH street sign
Edith Street sign at Cedar Street in Berkeley.  EDITH is an acronym used in personal preparedness standing for Exit Drills in The Home.  

Berkeley is situated in one of the most seismically active zones in the world.  Steep and unstable hillsides are prone to landslide difficulties where major movement can be triggered by either wet weather or earthquakes.  The city's wildland-urban interface leaves it vulnerable to periodic wildfires depending on wind, temperature and humidity conditions.  Hazardous materials incidents are increasingly common in metropolitan areas. 


Experts tell us that each household should plan to be without outside resources for 3-5 days in a major catastrophe.  This means that in the days immediately following an emergency, it’s crucial for families and neighborhoods to work together and attend to each other’s needs.   You'll find important information below to help you and your family, your friends and your community get ready. 

Personal PreparednessPhoto of Disaster Supplies

Basic Emergency Preparedness Manual (PDF*)

Protect Your Home From Wildfire Checklist (PDF*)

Disaster Preparedness for Pets (PDF*)

Five Critical Steps Earthquake Preparedness (PDF*)

Homeowners Earthquake Hazard Hunt (PDF*)

Renters Earthquake Hazard Hunt (PDF*)

Disaster Preparedness Guide for Berkeley Businesses (PDF*)

City and Community Preparedness


City of Berkeley's Office of Emergency Services  Photo of Berkeley resident during a Fire Suppression Extinguisher Exercise

The City's Office of Emergency Services (OES) works to increase the city's preparedness through public education, staff support to the Disaster and Fire Safety Commission, and coordination of the city's emergency operations planning.  Visit the OES homepage for CERT class schedule and information on Berkeley's Neighborhood Disaster Supply Cache Program.

The Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS) allows the City to call residents at home to give them critical public safety information.  You can register your cell phone by visiting

City Public Health Department Disaster Planning

The City of Berkeley's Public Health Department provides some tips on what you and your family can do to prepare before a disaster hits.  There is also important information on pandemic influenza and bioterrorism.

City's Seismic Hazard Zones

Visit this Planning Department page for maps that show areas with the potential for liquefaction, landslide, strong shaking or other earthquake and geologic hazards.  Of course, these maps cannot predict what will or will not happen in any given area, but they can give you an idea of some of the risks.

City Seismic Safety Programs 

  1. Transfer Tax Reductions for Qualifying Seismic Work
  2. Soft Story Program 
  3. Unreinforced Masonry Program (URM)

City of Berkeley 2004 Disaster Mitigation Plan (PDF*)

The City's Disaster Mitigation Plan was developed to reduce the potential for life loss, injury and economic damage; to increase the ability of city government to serve the community before and after hazard events; to protect Berkeley's unique character and values; and to encourage mitigation activities that increase the disaster resilience of institutions and lifeline systems that are essential to Berkeley's functioning. 

Disaster & Fire Safety Commission

The Disaster and Fire Safety Commission participates in the review of emergency, disaster and mutual aid plans and agreements and makes recommendations to the City Council regarding legislation and regulations needed to implement such plans and agreements

Easy Does It

Easy Does It (EDI) Emergency Services provides specialized assistance required by people with disabilities who are residents of the City of Berkeley and Marin County. (EDI) works with the City of Berkeley in compiling a voluntary Berkeley Emergency Registry of individuals who self-identify as needing additional help due to disability or age after a disaster.  Please visit their site to find out how to register.

Local and Regional Links

The Community Preparedness Website Project (

UC Berkeley Office of Emergency Services

Alameda County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) Emergency Preparedness

Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E) Natural Disaster Safety site

Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)

Northern Alameda County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (NALCO ARES/RACES) 

State Resources

Governor's Office of Emergency Services



National Resources

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

National Weather Service

U.S. Geological Survey Natural Hazards Gateway

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pandemic Flu Plan

American Red Cross

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Department of Homeland Security



The information contained in this website has been gathered from sources that are readily available to the public.  It contains standard information available on preparing for emergencies.  Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the material.  The City of Berkeley and the authors do not assume responsibility or liability in how the reader uses the information or the effect of any recommended practice, procedure or product specified in this website.

*Documents in .pdf format require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Download a free copy from Adobe's website at:


If you have any comments or questions about this web page, please email the Office of Emergency Services at


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Fire Department, 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-3473
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903