My Location Cal OES Helping reduce your risks from natural hazards California My Hazards

Type in your address below to learn how to address natural hazards in your area.

How does MyHazards work?

MyHazards is a tool for the general public to discover hazards in their area (earthquake, flood, fire, and tsunami) and learn steps to reduce personal risk. Using the MyHazards tool, users may enter an address, city, zip code, or may select a location from a map. The map targets the location, and allows users to zoom and scroll to their desired view. The screen then presents information on the risks identified within the search radius, and recommended actions

What Natural Hazards Impact Your Neighborhood?

Use this website to discover the hazards that exist in your area and learn how to reduce YOUR risk! Remember, the best way to recover from disasters is by reducing the risks before a disaster strikes.

Please note: This web site is for general purpose use only. Real estate disclosure information can be obtained from your local city or county government. See our disclaimer below for more information regarding the limitations of this web service..

The Purpose of MyHazards web site

We all understand that disasters will continue to occur throughout California. Hazard mitigation saves lives, preserves property, and protects the environment during times of disaster. MyHazards facilitates the identification of hazards by individuals, businesses, and local government.

Earthquake Risk

Earthquakes can occur everywhere in California which means all Californians live with an earthquake risk. In addition to the shaking caused by earthquakes, other things can occur such as landslides, surface fault ruptures and liquefaction--all of which may cause injury or property damage. Take note of where you live, read the information provided here, and contact your local city our county government for further details on how to be prepared where you live.

Earthquake Preparedness

More information and ideas on how to secure the contents of your home can be found at

Recommended actions for Earthquake Fault zones

If the property is not developed, a fault study may be required before the parcel can be subdivided or structures permitted. If a property is developed, you will not need a geologic study unless you plan to extensively add onto or remodel an existing structure.

Recommended actions for Liquefaction Seismic Hazard zones

Recommended actions for Earthquake-Induced Landslide zones

*About the Seismic Hazard Zonation Maps:

These maps prepared by the California Geological Survey are State-mandated regulatory maps that show "Zones of Required Investigation" for surface fault rupture, liquefaction and landslide hazard. They do not depict different degrees of hazard, rather they identify zones within which site specific studies will be required for new construction. These maps also are used in real estate transactions - when a property falls within a "Zone of Required Investigation," sellers of that property must disclose that fact to prospective buyers.

NOTE: Some areas of the State scheduled for Seismic Hazard Zonation for liquefaction and earthquake-induced landslides are yet to be evaluated. If you are informed that you are not in a Seismic Hazard Zone, please check whether the Official Seismic Hazard Zone Map covering your area has been released.

Also, map scale limitations on this website do not always allow accurate determination of whether a property falls inside or outside a Zone of Required Investigation. This degree of uncertainty is addressed herein by use of the term "in or near" a zone. To determine property location relative to a zone boundary, please visit your local planning agency to view appropriate Official Seismic Hazard, Earthquake Fault Zone maps, and parcel maps.

Fire Risk

California wildfires typically burn hundreds of thousands of acres each year. California law requires CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), to identify areas based on the severity of fire hazard that is expected to prevail there. These areas, or "zones," are based on factors such as fuel (material that can burn), slope and the expected chance of burning. There are three zones, based on increasing fire hazard... Moderate (M), High (H) and Very High (VH)

For more information, click the links below.

Wildfire Hazard Preparedness

For those living with wildfire hazards start protecting your property by creating 100 feet of "defensible space" around your structures. This includes removing all flammable vegetation and debris within 30 feet immediately surrounding your home, and, creating a "reduced fuel zone" that extends 70 feet beyond that.

Next, you can use "ignition resistant" materials in your construction, and make sure you have well marked access to your property and an emergency water supply.

For many more tips on keeping your property fire safe see the Fire Safety web page from Cal Fire by clicking the link below.

Flood Risk

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Flood effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

However, all floods are not alike. Some floods develop slowly, sometimes over a period of days. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water that carries rocks, mud, and other debris and can sweep away most things in its path. Overland flooding occurs outside a defined river or stream, such as when a levee is breached, but still can be destructive. Flooding can also occur when a dam breaks, producing effects similar to flash floods.

Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds, or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood. Every state is at risk from this hazard.

NOTE: FEMA is currently updating the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) inventory through its Map Modernization Program. The updated maps will be added to this site as they are available, however, the digital information for many California counties has not been completed.

Please be sure to check on-line at the FEMA Map Service Center website to view the most current FIRMs and use the search function for a "Public Flood Map."

Flood Preparedness

Before a flood there are several steps you will want to take, including:

  • Get an emergency supply kit
  • Make a plan if your family is separated during a flood
  • Be informed on flood watches and warnings by listening to the radio or watching television

For more information on the above topics:

Before a flood there are several steps you will want to take, including:

  • Get flood insurance--you can benifit from it even if you do not live in a high flood risk area.
  • Avoid building in a floodprone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
  • Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
  • Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
  • Contact community officials to find out if they are planning to construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the homes in your area.
  • Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.

For more information on these items, see the Ready America and FEMA websites. In addition, the California Dept. of Water Resources has a web page with extensive links about flood management in California.

Tsunami Risk

A tsunami is a sea wave generated by an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or even by a large meteor hitting the ocean. (The Japanese word tsu means harbor; nami means wave.)

Things You Should Know:

  • Although tsunamis in California are a rare, the entire California coastline is vulnerable to these events.
  • A tsunami is a series of waves or surges most commonly caused by an earthquake beneath the sea floor.
  • An unusual lowering of ocean water, exposing the sea floor, is a warning of a tsunami or other large wave. This “draw back” means the water will surge back strongly.
  • Beaches, lagoons, bays, estuaries, tidal flats, and river mouths are the most dangerous places to be. It is rare for a tsunami to penetrate more than a mile inland.
  • Tsunami waves are unlike normal coastal waves. Tsunamis are more like a river in flood or a sloping mountain of water and filled with debris.
  • Tsunamis cannot be surfed. They have no face for a surfboard to dig into and are usually filled with debris.
  • Large tsunamis may reach heights of twenty to fifty feet along the coast and even higher in a few locales.
  • The first tsunami surge is not the highest and the largest surge may occur hours after the first wave.
  • It is not possible to predict how many surges or how much time will elapse between waves for a particular tsunami.

Additional Information

Here are links to other sources of information about Tsunamis:

All Risks

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