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Disaster Preparedness

Emergency Phone Numbers




Fire, Paramedics, Police


Village Security


Click here for more phone numbers


"Many Southern Californians don’t know their neighbors, and that’s going to hurt neighborhoods’ ability to recover.

   A key factor that could determine what neighborhoods survive and which ones are abandoned after an earthquake is how well the neighborhood works together to recover, instead of giving up and leaving town.

   Southern California, unfortunately, has a reputation for neighbors not knowing one another.

   But things can be done to help establish a sense of community, such as cities encouraging block parties or organizing people to check in on one another after an earthquake.  

   One idea Jones is working on at her own church is creating a system in which people are assigned to check on one another after an earthquake hits, and complete a drill annually." - reference: LA Times Article

So, what are you waiting for?  Join as a Good Neighbor Building/Block Captain, see article below!

Be a Good Neighbor Building Captain

We are looking for Village residents who enjoy connecting with their neighbors.  In a disaster, a volunteer Good Neighbor Building Captain would check on their neighbors with a simple form for injuries and building damage which is taken to the nearest Clubhouse Care & Reporting Center.

Good Neighbor Building Captains are trained by the Disaster Preparedness Task Force to give their neighbors information on how to be prepared for a disaster, big or small.  Preparation is peace of mind.  A large-scale disaster can be an earthquake, fire, flooding, chemical spill or terrorism requiring residents to shelter-in-place as the first option.

If you don't know who your Good Neighbor Building Captain is, then there may not be one, so why not you?  You may want to click on this map to see if someone has become a Good Neighbor Building Captain near you.

Click here on "more" for information about being a Captain and to volunteer.

Disasters can happen!

For further information on disasters that can affect the Village such as fires, floods and  earthquakes and how to prepare for them, click on "more".



Get Free Training


Below is a list of 2017 FREE training sessions that the Disaster Preparedness Task Force (DPTF) sponsors to assist our Village residents in preparedness.  The sessions are intended for residents to help their family and neighbors in a disaster.  The sessions require no pre-registration, walk-ins ok (Note: for First Aid and CPR/AED sessions, if a certification of training is desired, an extended certification session is conducted at the end of the two hour information presentation and you must pre-register by sending an email with your name to at least three days before the session):

Training Date





March 7, 2017

12:00pm - 2:00pm

Good Neighbor Building/Block Captain Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


April 26, 2017

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Good Neighbor Building/Block Captain Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


May 9, 2017

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Adult CPR/AED Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


June 19, 2017

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Child/Infant CPR/AED Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


July 12, 2017

1:00pm  - 3:00pm

Good Neighbor Building/Block Captain Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


July 17, 2017

1:00pm - 3:00pm

Basic First Aid Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


Sep 18, 2017

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Basic First Aid Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


October 3, 2017

11:00am - 1:00pm

Good Neighbor Building/Block Captain Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


November 14, 2017

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Adult CPR/AED Training

Clubhouse 7

Main Lounge


Got Stuff?

Get the information and the supplies you need to successfully navigate through any disaster!

The Disaster Preparedness Task Force (DPTF) Office has lots of information on preparedness and resident volunteer opportunities, basic emergency items, and Office staff who can answer your questions.

Visit the DPTF Office to see and buy, at cost, basic emergency items such as a 3­-day disaster preparedness supply bag, first aid kit and some other helpful items.  The DPTF Office is in the Community Center on the first floor.  The Office is open from 10:00 AM to Noon, Monday through Friday.

Get your stuff today!  Click on "more" for specific items and prices.


Care & Reporting Centers

In a disaster, residents should shelter-in-place at their manor using their stored water, food, medicines and first aid supplies.  Residents should assist their family, friends and neighbors.  The Disaster Preparedness Task Force (DPTF) provides annual free training to residents in first aid, CPR and AED-use to prepare for a disaster.

If residents can't shelter-in-place due to damage to their manor, the Care & Reporting Centers (primarily clubhouses and Par 3 golf patio) would be locations to receive assistance from volunteers from the Village.

Village Care & Reporting Center volunteers could use basic first aid supplies from the disaster cabinets to assist the wounded before emergency medical responders arrive.  [You have seen these cabinets in the clubhouses and Par 3 Golf patio and you probably wondered what is their story.  The cabinets were placed and stocked by the DPTF some time ago to address the need for an initial response in a Village-wide disaster.  The DPTF maintains the supplies inside the cabinets.]

Note: Laguna Hills High School, south of the Village, would be the location of the Red Cross Shelter in a major disaster.

The primary purpose of the Care & Reporting Center is to gather injury and damage reports from the Good Neighbor Building/Block Captains and pass that information to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) operated by the VMS Security Division.  The EOC would coordinate the emergency resources.

Those volunteers, who are they?  In the past, there was a large contingent of volunteers to assist at these Reporting Centers such as

  • Coordinator to organize the Report Center activity and open the disaster cabinet,
  • Clerks to gather necessary information,
  • Amateur radio operators to pass information from clerks to EOC,
  • Language translators to assist multicultural communication,
  • Care staff (nurses, doctors, counselors, First Aiders and EMTs who live in the Village),
  • Messengers to pass status information from Good Neighbor Building/Block Captains, and
  • Good Neighbor Building/Block Captains who gather injury and building damage reports and send those reports to the Reporting Centers.

Over time and with the churn of residents arriving and leaving the Village, we are in need of more residents to volunteer to assist in a major disaster for the above volunteer positions.  The DPTF provides annual training for these positions, which are not difficult to perform.  Note to medical volunteers, just use basic first aid to stabilize the individual is preferred.

Click here to “open” the cabinet and to see a volunteer registration form to join this important team. 

You have seen these cabinets in the clubhouses and Par 3 Golf patio and you probably wondered what is their story.

The cabinets were placed and stocked by the Disaster Preparedness Task Force (DPTF) some time ago to address the need for an initial response in a Village-wide disaster.  The DPTF maintains the supplies inside the cabinets.

The Big Disaster Strikes, Now What?

The massive earthquake that is predicted actually occurs. It is night, there is violent shaking of your manor with you in it, you hear glass breaking, walls cracking, furniture moving, your bed is banging against the wall. Then all is silent and still.

You are still alive! You give a sigh of relief and gather your wits.
Now what?

Here are some ideas:

One gallon per person
            per day and don’t forget your pets
  • You turn on your flashlight that is near your bed, put on your shoes (remember the broken glass on the floor?)
  • You check on your loved ones in your home, are they ok?
  • Does anyone need first aid, good thing you have a first aid kit
  • If you are a Good Neighbor Building Captain, you then check on your neighbors.  Are they ok?
  • Your home may have no electricity and you have several flashlights and extra batteries as it is going to be a long night, maybe several nights in the dark
  • There may be no running water.  Have some bottled water for drinking and cleaning cuts in hands and feet.      
  • Shut off your cold water inlet valve on your water heater, it is going to be a good source of 40 gallons of water, don't let it get contaminated by broken pipes letting in dirt.
  • You're expected to shelter-in-place in your manor for three weeks before outside emergency agencies can supply resources, good that you have a stock of canned and dry food, as well as, water.
  • One gallon of water per person per day and don’t forget your pets
  • You remember the survival threes: you can go 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food and 3 months without hope
  • If you are not able to shelter-in-place in your manor, you know Village emergency volunteers will be gathering at the clubhouses to help you and your neighbors
  • It's a comfort to know that your friends in the community will help.

Click on "more" for a list of supplies.

Get Orientated in Disaster Preparedness

A volunteer from the Disaster Preparedness Task Force (DPTF) gives a presentation on preparedness to the New Resident Orientations.  The presentations are given in the morning to United Mutual new residents on the 1st Friday of the month and Third Mutual new residents on the 3rd Friday of the month.

The DPTF can also provide a presenter on preparedness and activities of the DPTF for clubs and groups of the Village.  If interested, please send email to and request a Disaster Preparedness presentation.  

Click on "more" for the DPTF event timeline and sample presentations that can be given.

Gold Star Preparedness

So, when have you arrived in your disaster preparedness as assisted by the Disaster Preparedness Task Force (DPTF)?

You have accomplished the following

  • Taken the free Good Neighbor Building/Block Captain training offered by the DPTF,
  • Signed up on the Registration Form to be a volunteer,
  • Got your Good Neighbor Building Captain's Kit from the DPTF,
  • Shared the Resident Information from your kit with your neighbors,
  • Taken the free First Aid class offered by the DPTF,
  • Purchased emergency items such as first aid kit,
  • Secured tall furniture and other items in your manor so they won't fall in earthquake.
So, you are ready!  But wait, there is one more thing to do, what about earthquake insurance?  It is offered by your insurance carrier and provided by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). It is optional and maybe you thought the risk just wasn't there so you didn't bother.  But all your important stuff, if damaged by an earthquake, will not be covered by your regular insurance!  Also, any improvements in your manor such as those granite counter tops and upgraded cabinets will not be replaced by the Village, just the standard items that you upgraded from.  Is the risk real?  Click here for the Orange County Register article, dated March 9, 2017, on the risk.  It is your decision but consider carefully as you don't want a large earthquake to leave you without the strength to rebuild to where you were.

Emergency Medical Information

Orange County Fire Authority, where our Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) come from to our Village, recommend having a list of your medical conditions, allergies, and medications you take in an envelope or other container attached to the outside of your refrigerator and clearly marked “Emergency Medical Information”.  

They also recommend to have a similar packet near your medicine cabinet in your bathroom, as that is commonly a location where EMTs look for medications.  If you don't have a medicine cabinet, then use the corner of the master bathroom mirror, as pictured.

  Also, as your doctor changes your prescriptions, please try to keep an updated list of medications and dosages.  This will enable the medical response personnel to make the most informed decisions regarding your care.

Click on "more" for a suggested Emergency Medical Information form.

Water Heater Strap-down

Your Water Heater is a source of 40 gallons of water during an emergency.  

If you live in Third Mutual, then it is your responsibility to strap your water heater to the wall securely.  If you are in United Mutual then your water heater is strapped to the wall by metal straps to keep it secure in an earthquake.

After an massive earthquake, your 40 gallon water heater is a source of emergency water supply.  You should shut off the incoming water valve (usually indicated by a blue band around the pipe and associated valve) to prevent contamination from possible broken water pipes.  Then attach your white hose (you purchased from a hardware store or the DPTF Office) to the drain valve at the bottom of the water tank.  Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and the Pressure Relief Valve on the side of the tank to allow water to flow through the hose.  Remember it may be hot water!  Drain into a water container to use in your manor.

You should turn off the electrical panel box breaker to the water heater since a partially or fully drained water heater, if power is applied to the heating elements, may cause damage to the heating elements that are no longer covered by water.

Water Storage

So, the most important element in your disaster preparations is storing drinking water.  A person can survive for 3 days without water but then it is important to have water.  The Village manors generally have a 40 gallon hot water tank.  This tank may be difficult to access, especially if a severe earthquake has shifted the structure around that tank. 

 It is important that you view your hot water tank to be sure that is is strapped with metal straps to the structure of the manor.  Can you easily access the drain valve at the bottom of the tank to use that 40 gallons after a disaster?  Do you have a clean white hose to attach to that drain valve?  Do you have a clean container to drain the water into for easy use of that water for drinking, wound care and food preparation?

To augment that hot water tank source, do you have stored water in appropriate containers and in an accessible location?

Long term emergency water containers should be food grade plastic (BPA-free) and heavy enough wall thickness so as not rupture or develop leaks during storage and are blue as this color limits light exposure and biological growth (bacteria and algae) and also signifies that what is stored in the container is safe for human consumption.

Do not store plastic containers on concrete as the chemical interaction will weaken the plastic, put a rug or something under the plastic to isolate it from concrete.  Do not store water in an area where there are harsh fumes and chemicals as these may contaminate the water.  Water technically can be stored indefinitely if it started out in ideal conditions but can be rotated every 6 months for peace of mind or if there is a risk of contamination.

How much water to store?  One gallon of water for one person for each day and given that FEMA may not be ready for three weeks, it is advisable to have a minimum of 21 gallons per person stored.  So, if your water heater tank is in a safe place where it won't be damaged and you know how to turn off the cold water intake valve to avoid water contamination from broken pipes external to your manor caused by a large earthquake, then a hot water tank may be sufficient for two people in a manor for drinking.  Other uses such as wound cleaning and food preparation may subtract from that amount of stored water.  So, some amount of external stored water is advisable such as 20 gallons of water.

Click Here for some general recommendations and alternatives from that discussed above provided by FEMA.


Ham Radio in a Disaster

During a drill at a Report Center (Clubhouse), you have seen the ham radio operators (amateur radio operators) making radio calls on their handheld radios, passing important messages to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Community Center.  You thought to yourself, I wish I could be a radio operator, too.  

Well, it is not as difficult as you would first believe.  You can get some training on radio operation, take a multiple choice exam to get your FCC license, purchase a radio (less than $200) and you are helping the disaster response of your Laguna Woods Village.

You can get class room training and the exam offered by South Orange Amateur Radio Association (click here) which offers classes through the year.

The explanation of the amateur radio license can be found at the ARRL website (click here)  which has several articles to give you background in radio.

The local W6LY Amateur Radio Club (click here) operates a VHF radio repeater (referred to as the 2 meter frequency band) from the Gate 14 Tower which will be your primary radio communication related to disaster response in Laguna Woods Village.

QR Code, I've seen it, I want it (What is it?)


Quick Response Code (abbreviated as QR code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) designed as a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached.  The QR code became popular due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.

A QR Code consists of black squares arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by a camera, and processed using Reed–Solomon error correction until the image can be interpreted. The required data are then extracted from patterns that are present in both horizontal and vertical components of the image creating a quick link to a webpage.

On you smart phone, search for QR Code Reader from the application (app) store and download the application to your phone, which is usually a free app.  Start the QR Code Reader app and point your cell phone camera towards the QR Code (shown to the left) and our website will instantly come up!


If you would like to study up-close our Village disaster response, how you can play a part in it or just how to be prepared for a Village-wide disaster, please visit our bulletin board display in Clubhouse 3, on the wall of the south hallway.

The Disaster Preparedness Task Force

The DPTF is seeking resident volunteers to fill the following positions:

  • Good Neighbor Building/Block Captains - document the status of their neighbors/buildings and report to the Report Centers during a major disaster and also assist Security as "eyes & ears" to help reduce crime.
  • Care & Reporting Center volunteers - includes Coordinator, Clerks, Language Translator, Care (doctor, nurse, councelsor, EMT) and messengers.

  If interested, please send an email to , and thank you for volunteering!  Your Village needs you!

The DPTF Office is on the first floor main hallway in the Community Center
 just north of the elevators.  Drop by for a visit!

DPTF Committee meets last Tuesday of the month
at 9:30 AM  in the Pine Room at the Community Center.


The Disaster Preparedness Task Force committee was organized by Laguna Woods Village residents in 1989 and consists of volunteers who function under the Golden Rain Foundation and in cooperation with the Security Department. Their purpose is to keep residents aware, informed and prepared for major disasters.

Current Officers of the Task Force:

  • Chair: Tim Moy, VMS Security Chief
  • Vice-Chair: Roger Cowdrey
  • Secretary: Vacant - Need Good Documentation Person - email if interested
  • Treasurer: Mardi Reese
Click on MORE below for the 2016 and 2017 Meeting Minutes!  See the good stuff going on, join the task force, we really need you!

The Disaster Preparedness Task Force Office is located on the first floor of the Community Center. Our telephone number is (949) 597­- 4237.  Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM – Noon.  Task Force email:

The DPTF was awarded the Community Service Award by the Historical Society in 2003.

The DPTF was awarded the Award for Excellence by the Orange County Red Cross in 2009.   

Volunteers are always needed and greatly appreciated.  If interested and have questions, please send email to

Aware, Prepared, Ready!

This website maintained by the Disaster Preparedness Task Force (DPTF)