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In Case of Emergency

Catalina Island is one of the safest places on the planet. Crime is so rare as to be nearly non-existent and Santa Catalina’s unique geology protects it from most of Mother Nature’s more violent outbursts. Nowhere, however, is completely devoid of danger and a bit of preparation can help make sure that you and your family survive any emergency.

If there is an emergency in your vacation property, please make sure everyone is safe and then call 911. Catalina Island’s emergency services begin with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch Operations. Sheriff’s office personnel dispatch emergency responders, if you call please be prepared with the address and nature of the emergency and if possible have someone available outside to direct first responders when they arrive. In the event of fire, the City of Avalon has its own fire department and the island is also served by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. In a medical emergency, Los Angeles County Baywatch paramedics will be dispatched. If necessary, patients can be taken to the emergency department at Catalina Island Medical Center, the island’s hospital. More serious cases may need to be transported to the mainland.

If a more general emergency occurs, all of Catalina Island Vacation Rentals properties will be part of the City of Avalon’s Code Red system. This reverse-911 notification system will generate a phone call to every landline in Avalon. The phone call will convey information regarding the nature of the emergency and any instructions for visitors or residents.

In Avalon, emergency responders also utilize an air raid-style siren to notify residents of emergencies. The siren is tested on the last Friday of the month at noon. If the siren sounds briefly at other times, it is summoning volunteers. If it sounds continuously it is notifying residents and visitors of a significant threat.

In 2007, Catalina Island faced a wildlands fire, a vivid reminder that, like the rest of Southern California, fire is one of our most dangerous threats. Visitors and many residents were evacuated, with cross channel carriers providing transportation off the island.

Earthquakes are another threat that Catalina Island faces along with the Southern California mainland. If an earthquake strikes while you are on the island, the most important thing is to remain calm.

Tips for Emergencies

  • If Outdoors

    Move away from building and power lines

  • If Indoors

    Move away from windows and large items that may fall

  • After the Shaking Stops

    Follow directions of emergency responders and CIVR staff

  • Low Elevation

    Catalina Island’s low elevation may make it susceptible to tsunamis. Many geologists think the tsunami threat to Avalon is rare, however, if there is a significant earthquake lasting at least 30 seconds or if there is a tsunami warning, make your way to higher ground, away from the beach.