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Emergency Management 



Since World War II emergency management has focused primarily on preparedness. Often this involved preparing for enemy attack.
Community preparedness for all disasters requires identifying resources and expertise in advance, and planning how these can be used in a disaster. However, preparedness is only one phase of emergency management. Current thinking defines four phases of emergency management:


  • Mitigation 
  • Preparedness 
  • Response 
  • Recovery 


The phases are applicable to “all hazards” or disasters. Many residents and businesses already prepare for emergencies by using the four phases, perhaps without even realizing it. How about you? Read on to find out how Riverside County mitigates, prepares, respond and recovers from disasters, and learn how you can apply the four phases of in your emergency preparations.




“Mitigation” responsibilities include activities that may prevent or minimize an emergency in Riverside County, reduce the likelihood of occurrence of an emergency, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable hazards.

The County undertakes mitigation responsibilities and takes the necessary precautions prior to an event in order to limit damage and exposure to residents and businesses.

Mitigation activities are undertaken long before an emergency. To illustrate the importance of mitigation, consider the following examples: 

  •  To mitigate a fire in your home or business, you must follow safety standards in selecting building materials, electrical wiring and appliances. But an accident involving a fire could still occur.
  • To protect yourself from the costly burden of rebuilding after a fire, you could buy fire insurance.
These actions reduce the danger and damaging effects of a fire, which is also a part of mitigation.
Learn more about what Riverside County is doing to mitigate against hazards.



“ Preparedness” refers to the actions that help support and enhance a response to an emergency or disaster in Riverside County. Preparedness activities take place before an emergency occurs. Such prior planning and action can greatly reduce property damage, and save lives. 


Resident and business owner participation in preparedness efforts is essential.  Preparing for an emergency includes developing plans for what to do, where to go, or who to call for help before an event occurs, which are actions that will improve your chances of successfully dealing with an emergency. 


For instance, posting of emergency telephone numbers, holding disaster drills, and installing smoke detectors are all preparedness measures. Employers should communicate preparedness plans to their employees, and encourage their employees to have their own family preparedness plans, and prepare a disaster kit with essential supplies for your family and pets. 


When a manmade or natural disaster strikes Riverside County, residents may be required to be self-sufficient for up to 7 days or more before help or assistance arrives. Are you prepared?  



“ Response” is comprised of those activities that take place at the onset of an emergency or disaster. During this phase, the main goals are to protect and save lives, and limit property damage and loss.


Response activities take place during an emergency, and include putting preparedness plans into action. Your safety and well-being in an emergency depend on how prepared you are and how you respond to a crisis. By being able to act responsibly and safely, you will be able to protect yourself, your family, your business, your employees, and others around you.  


By being prepared, you enable County government and emergency responders to focus recovery efforts on those who are unable to help themselves.


As a member of this community, you can play a role in an emergency response. A number of volunteer opportunities exist, including becoming a member of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to help your neighbors recover from a major emergency or disaster situation.


Riverside County Fire Office of Emergency Services is responsible for developing emergency plans and actions in response to actual or potential disasters which may impact all or part of Riverside County. OES designs and conducts exercises for different scenarios and coordinates emergency management training to insure that the County is able to respond to Natural, Human Caused and Technological emergencies. OES coordinates the interagency response for a wide range of emergencies including: Earthquake, Terrorism, Wildfires, Flooding, Extreme Heat and Severe Weather, Utility Outages, Droughts, Transportation Accidents, Hazardous Materials Releases and Civil Unrest.





“ Recovery “ activities take place after an emergency and are dependent on how well your preparation plans were made before the emergency.


Emergency Management provides assistance to the community while recovering from an emergency and helping residents and businesses return to a normal life as soon as possible.


After the emergency and the immediate danger are over, the continued safety of you and your family will depend in large part on your plans to cope with the immediate changes to your life and environment. During the recovery period, prevent a stressful environment for your family, while limiting as many of the financial burdens as possible.  It is during the recovery from an event that you should consider additional ways to mitigate the effects of any future events.