With the holiday travel season just around the corner, here are some reminders on how to prepare for the unexpected when traveling away from home.

Every Flight

“Every commercial flight begins with a safety briefing. Every cruise begins with a lifeboat drill. Every hotel room has an evacuation route posted. Even on vacation, it’s important to have a plan in case an emergency happens,” said Angie Gibson, PG&E vice president, of emergency preparedness and response in a news release. “Where are your exits? Where will your family meet if separated? Who would you call? Taking a few minutes, especially during National Preparedness Month, to share that plan can make a tremendous difference.”


National Preparedness Month is an observance usually in September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. But travelers should heed the advice year-round to make sure their vacation starts off right.

Recent emergencies in areas popular with tourists, including the wildfires in Hawaii and Canada, the magnitude 5.1 earthquake in Ojai in Ventura County, and Hurricane Hilary, which prompted the first-ever tropical storm watch in Southern California, remind us that being prepared is critical to keeping safe.

As part of National Preparedness any time, here are tips and other resources to help keep you and your family safe, even when you are away from home:

  • Make sure your hotel room or rental house has a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Travel with a small flashlight.
  • Learn where the stairs are located, elevators may not work in an emergency and should be avoided during fires.
  • Share travel information like itinerary, transportation information, and address of accommodations with someone you trust.
  • Research ground transportation options such as taxi and ride-share information before you reach your destination.
  • Protect important documents like IDs or passports.
  • Maintain familiarity with your surroundings by noting landmarks, the location of your lodging, and the nearest police stations or hospitals.
  • If you’re relying on your phone for essential information carry a portable battery and charging cable.

The Safety Action Center has many more tips, including specific sections to help you and your family be ready before any emergency.

More Resources Available

  • Ready.gov has tools and resources to help you and your family prepare emergency plans for yourselves, your friends, and your neighbors.
  • The American Red Cross, redcross.org, also offers many tips to help prepare and respond to emergencies.
  • CalFire’s Ready for Wildfire page offers tips on creating emergency plans, tools to track wildfire incidents, and guidance on following evacuation orders should they be necessary.
  • AAA has information on travel safety.

Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Co.