Emergency Preparedness

The City of San Juan Capistrano maintains a comprehensive Emergency Management Program that includes all elements necessary to respond to major emergencies. City employees are trained in the National Incident Management System which provides a proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards-regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity-in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment.

Volunteers are a vital part of the City' Emergency Preparedness program. Information on how to become involved in these programs is listed below:

Join Our Disaster Volunteer Team

Earthquake Preparedness

Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property. If a disaster occurs, local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. You should know how to respond to any disaster that could occur. You should also be ready to be self-sufficient for at least three days. This may mean providing for your own first aid, food, water, and sanitation.

Assembling a supply kit and developing a communications plan are what you can do to be prepared. Use these helpful links to learn more on how to prepare.

Disasters That Can Affect San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano has a mild climate and generally stable weather. However, like all of Southern California, the area is seismically active and can be prone to other hazards such as flash flooding, landslides and wildfires.


Every year California experiences approximately 500 earthquakes that are large enough to be detected and felt by local residents. Since Orange County has a number of seismic faults, earthquakes are almost an expected part of living here. Residents should be prepared by identifying safe places in each room of their homes and taking other precautions such as securing furniture and having a disaster supplies kit on hand.


Flooding is one of the area's most likely disasters. Flash floods can strike any time with little or no warning can turn streets and freeways into rivers within seconds. Most flash flooding is caused by heavy rains concentrated over an area and also run-off from local hillsides and clogged storm drains.


Landslides, also known as mudslides or debris flow, occur frequently in rainy seasons. These disasters are caused by a variety of factors including earthquakes, rainstorms and fires. Landslides can occur quickly, often with little notice, and the best way to prepare is to stay informed about changes in and around your home that could signal that a landslide is likely to occur.


Wildfires are among Orange County's leading disasters because dry terrain is prone to brush fires in the hot summer months. Residents in all areas of the City should take steps to make their homes less vulnerable to wildfires as windy conditions can spread to areas that seem less likely to burn.

Learn how you can protect your home in 3 simple steps with Ready, Set, Go! (Link to Program)


Tsunamis generally affect coastal communities and low-lying (low-elevation) river valleys in the vicinity of the coast. Buildings closest to the ocean and near sea level are most at jeopardy. The City of San Juan Capistrano is not located in a tsunami inundation area.


Evacuation and shelter-in-place protective actions are prompted by a variety of threats and hazards. Incident-specific circumstances drive the relevant protective actions based on a community's demographics, infrastructure, resources, authorities, and decision-making process. Determining that an evacuation needs to take place is not an all-or-nothing approach. Lessons learned from recent disasters, to include hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, have highlighted the value of enacting an approach to evacuation and shelter-in-place, enabling jurisdictions to move as few people as necessary. Sheltering-in-place populations that are not directly in harm's way, rather than having them evacuate, can help limit the negative impacts of evacuations, while promoting improved response and quicker re-entry and recovery. Become familiar with possible routes of evacuation in and around the City.

Other Useful Links: