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Emergencies & Your Health

Planning ahead to protect ourselves in a disaster, including people who are medically vulnerable.

About PlaneTree Health Library

PlaneTree Health Library's mission is to guide the public to trustworthy, accurate, and free health and medical information. In operation since 1989, it is a free, public, patient and consumer health library and 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It does not accept advertisements; it has no commercial relationship with the sources of information on these webpages. Visit our online information guides linked from our main website at:

Updated frequently during an emergency.

This webpage will be updated with details on major emergency alerts as reported. Look for this icon to find new content fast.

Preparing ahead for emergencies - wildfires, flooding, bad air, earthquakes, power outages, extreme weather - are now facts of life. Everyone is encouraged to subscribe to local emergency alerts, as the bare minimum. The other webpages in this collection take preparedness some steps further for everyone.

If you or loved ones are dependent on an electrical device, or chronically or severely ill, check out the section for keeping medically-vulnerable people safe during an emergency situation.

Finding information fast when a disaster hits

Santa Clara County -- sign up with AlertSCC to get local emergency alerts on your phone.

Alert SCC

For other counties in our area, find your local warnings by searching with your county name and the word: Alert.

Fire Season 2023

Be Alert to Fire Danger   

For up-to-date information on wildfires across California, see:

Beware Donation Scams

When disasters hit, for many people the first thought after "I'm safe (mostly)" is "How can I help?". Unfortunately, though, for some that second thought is "how can I make a profit from this?".  Scammers feed on our desires to help each other.

If asked for money:

Please be cautious of crowdfunding requests, individuals asking for gift card donations, and other requests for cash or checks. Verify that the organization or company making the ask is legitimate; and dig further into GoFundMe requests before giving. If the funds are supposedly going to a particular charity, call or email that organization directly to ask for confirmation that a third party is fundraising for them.


If asked for material donations (food, blankets or towels, clothing, toys, equipment, etc.):

Double-check with the organization that will be distributing those donations to find out 1) if they are still accepting donations, and 2) if there are limits on what kinds of materials they can accept. Donated items should be clean and undamaged; packaged food items should be within their sell-by date and ideally easy-to-open and ready-to serve.


If you suspect  a scam, please report it!

To find out where and how to report a suspected scam, check these links:

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