Emergency Management

The mission of Emergency Management is to support citizens, first responders, and City staff in building and sustaining the City's ability to mitigate, prepare, protect, respond, and recover from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters.

The Emergency Management division works closely with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Orange County Health Care Agency, American Red Cross, OCSD Emergency Management Division, surrounding cities, and other county departments and agencies in order to provide the highest possible level of preparedness and coordination when disaster strikes.

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita has an Emergency Operations Plan, which guides City personnel on responding to and recovering from a disaster. City personnel work out of the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as a central point of coordination. The EOC supports responders in the field by providing needed resources and works closely with the County level EOC.

Emergency Preparedness

Disasters can’t be prevented. We know they’ll always come, especially living in Southern California, where earthquakes, fires, landslides, power failures and droughts are common. Add in the things that can happen anywhere, like floods, pandemic disease or terrorism, and we live in a pretty active place! The best we can do is to reduce the effects of disasters before they occur, prepare for what we know could happen, and respond and recover as best we can.

We’re used to thinking that someone to help us in an emergency is only a 911 call away, and that’s usually true. But the lesson we learn from disasters is that, no matter how modern or advanced we become, we can still be overwhelmed by forces beyond our control. Climate, geology, technology breakdown, even viruses can still hit hard enough to disrupt everything. When that happens, and eventually something will, public safety responders will regroup and respond as quickly as they can.

Community Partnerships

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita partners with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Orange County Fire Authority, the American Red Cross and other resources to prepare for disasters big and small. The City maintains an Emergency Operations Plan to guide city staff during disasters, maintains a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (PDF)* to minimize the effects of disasters, and participates in training and drills to practice what to do when disaster strikes.

 *Slated for revision as part of the General Plan Update

Preparing Your Home

Have you done anything to reduce the effects of disaster in your home, like earthquake-proofing your furnishings or keeping a fire-defensible space around your home? Will you be able to care for yourself and your household until help arrives? Are you ready to live for three days or more without utilities, grocery stores or restaurants? How will your family re-unite if separated, or at least keep in contact?

Be Prepared

If you’re not ready yet, it’s time to get started. Check out the resources provided on this page or attend a Community Emergency Preparedness Academy hosted every fall by the City. You can also take American Red Cross courses or volunteer to coordinate the efforts of your neighborhood.

For More Information

We know disasters will strike. When they do, you will be shocked and disoriented as everyone will. The amount of thought and preparation you put in now can be the difference between helplessness and recovery. For more information, please contact the City's Emergency Management Coordinator at 949-635-1800.