Emergency preparedness

The public’s health and safety is a top priority for city officials, but they can’t do it alone. It takes teamwork...Disaster and emergency preparedness is a joint effort between the citizens, businesses and city government. The emergency preparedness information provided on this site has been made available to assist you in protecting your family and property in the case of an emergency situation.

Know the risks in your area

The first step in preparing for emergencies is to learn more about the risks. Different types of disasters will call for different types of responses. For example, flooding might require evacuation while a chemical spill might require you to stay in your home and shelter in place. Understanding the risks and knowing what to do in each situation will help you protect yourself and your family.

Natural hazards

In the Peninsula and greater Bay Area, natural disasters are the greatest risk for you and your family — particularly earthquakes, excessive heatsevere storms and flooding, and wildfire smoke.

Man-made hazards

The Department of Homeland Security categorizes potential terrorist threats into these categories: chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive. These kinds of disasters are commonly known by the acronym CBRNE (pronounced cee-burn). While the odds of any of these types of events happening in our community may be small, it is still important to learn what to do in these situations.

Power outages, including Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), are becoming more common across the state. During PSPS events, PG&E may cut power to fire-prone areas before a fire starts. This can result in a loss of electricity service to Menlo Park residents.

More common risks include fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and transportation hazards.

Health hazards

You should also be aware of health risks, such as pandemic influenza or West Nile Virus. Officials are currently monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

We have also seen unprecedented frequency of poor air quality in recent years. The Bay Area recorded a streak of 30 consecutive Spare the Air alerts in 2020. Check out our Spare the Air FAQs.