Emergency Planning & Help


In the event of a Bethel Island levee break or breach, the Bethel Island siren system will be activated by a representative of the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District.  In conjunction with the activation of the siren system, the Contra Costa County Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) will be activated and the following message will go out to every telephone with a billing address in the 94511 zip code.

“This is a message from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. 

There is an Immediate Evacuation of Bethel Island.  Due to a levee breach _at LOCATION if verified by BIMID_ , an immediate evacuation has been ordered for all residents on Bethel Island .

Do not attempt to drive off the island or onto the levee, as emergency vehicles need to get through.  Move onto the levee and walk to the nearest evacuation point. 

If able, help a neighbor in need of evacuation assistance.  Take only those essential items you have ready and can carry with you.  Household pets must be in a carrier or on a leash.  Stay off the phone unless you need to report a life-threatening emergency at your location. 

For more information tune to local radio station 740 am, marine radio station 16, or television.”


The Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District

Bethel Island is surrounded by eleven miles of levee that keep the Delta waters out of the interior of the island.  Everyone living behind a levee has a responsibility to help maintain the integrity of the levee.  Some activities must be restricted to prevent levee failure or interference with the island drainage system.  BIMID has adopted ordinances to guide residents’ selection of appropriate activity.

Levees are engineered to withstand water pressure.  Any modification to a levee can weaken that critical ability.  BIMID personnel who patrol the levee and are charged with maintaining the levee must be able to see the entire slope of the levee, both on the water side and the land side, particularly with respect to water seepage and rodent damage.

Some vegetation, other than grass, can be a problem.  Tree roots can be a perfect conduit for water traveling through the fragile levee.  Also, dumping of grass clipping, other vegetation and junk into the island drainage ditches restricts water flow and can cause flooding.


BIMIDEmergency Evacuation Signs:  In the unlikely event of an emergency there are a total of 13 rally points that currently all have EVACUATION ROUTE SIGNS in place at the street entrance to the following marinas: San joaquin YC, Mariner Cove Marina, Caliente Harbor, Anchor Marina, D’Anna Yacht Center, Emerald pointe Marina, Frank’s Marina, Lundborg Landing, Sugar Barge Marina, Russo’s Marina, Beacon Harbor, Bethel Harbor and Willowest Harbor. The community thanks these businesses for there cooperation! Emergency planning will remain a high priority for our community, if you would like to volunteer to assist the community during an emregency please call the BIMID office (925) 684-2210 and leave your name, address and phone number, you will be contacted.


  • The Fire Department The Uniform Fire Code calls for fire access routes to be no less than 20 feet wide and 13 feet 6 inches in height. Please do your part and keep the vegetation around your home trimmed and under control. Keep all obstacles off the top of the levee.
  • The following pictures are examples of overgrown vegetation and obstacles blocking the levee. If you look in your back yard and see something similar, please remedy the situation. The BIMID staff is always available to help.
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Bethel Island Area, California


For several years the Bethel Island Community has been working with several county, state and federal agencies in developing a disaster and area evacuation plan. A key element of that plan will be the island siren system.  This siren system will alert all islanders to seek higher ground above the floodplain. Those needing assistance should place the sign(s) facing towards the street and/or levee top. Lastly, the sign(s) need to be removed if you leave the building.

The Bethel Island Community is made up of structures that have living quarters located both above and below the floodplain. We believe this signage system will help fill a serious need for those residents having “limited mobility” issues and needing help to get to higher ground quickly.

Click to EnlargeThe ‘HELP NEEDED’ signs are available as a 8 1/2” X 5 1/2” DOOR KNOB HANGER/WINDOW POSTER (2) or 8 1/2” X 11” WINDOW POSTER.  Each is to be placed on outside door knobs and in windows facing the street and or levee top, always with the “HELP NEEDED” side facing out.

The signs are available now at a number of island locations such as: the B.I. Fire Dept., Bethel Island Chamber Office, mobile home community administration offices & the Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District Office. If you can’t find them, call the BIMID Office at (925) 684-2210.

Those at risk should partner with neighbors, friends and family to develop a plan for an emergency response; neighbors should look after each other, specifically those with mobility issues, by making these signs available to anyone in need.

Bethel Island Area Emergency Preparedness Committee

Short, low volume testsare conducted the first Wednesday of each month at 11:00 a.m.

FEMA Earthquake & Hazards Mitigation Program Manager letter to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Bethel Island is one of of 21 communities with an approved plan in 2007. Thank you Director Lawry!

  • BIMID is seeking volunteers from the Bethel Island area to assist the district & it’s employees in times of emergency. FORM BEING UPDATED & REVISED.

  • BIMIDNEW – Emergency Evacuation Map







The Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) is managed under the umbrella of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Systems. It has been in place for several years and has most notably been used to notify citizens in and around the refineries when there is a spill. This system is database-driven and enables OES to notify specific pockets of residents affected by an emergency. The database contains pre-defined scripts associated with emergency scenarios and address plots. This system allows OES to rapidly contact the identified residents when an emergency occurs. The script is played over the phone as residents are rapid dialed using an automated dialing system.

Bethel Island is the first community in the unicorporated area of Contra Costa County to contract with the Community Warning System. We have analyzed the levee surrounding Bethel Island and determined areas most likely to be subject to potential breaks. We determined the flow and rate of water for each break, analyzing the impact to residents. We then developed a set of scripts and determined the order in which pockets of residents would be notified for each break, based on their vicinity to the potential break. Those scenarios have been added to the TENS database for the Community Warning System at the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services.

in the event of a levee break, designated representatives of the District would immediately place a call to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency services and make a request for the appropriate script to be enacted. Within minutes telephones on the island would begin to ring notifying residents of the danger. In most cases, our analysis indicates that residents would have between one and two hours to evacuate. However, if there were a break along the Stone Road levee, the scenario would be considerably different. In the event, a resident of Bethel Island receives one of the phone calls, they should assume they have no more than minutes to make their way to their designated marina evacuation point. They should not waste time attempting to save valuables, but rather respond as they would in any other emergency.

The District has developed an Emergency Evacuation Plan which identifies the marinas on the island and the pockets of residents that are assigned to each marina. These plans have been copied into 8 1/2 x 11 prints, along with textual descriptions identifying the pockets by physical address. If residents have not picked one up, they can find copies at the Post Office and the BIMID office. Residents should be sure to pick one up.

For any emergencies not involving flooding, the county already has scripts in the TENS database and the Fire Department or Sheriff’s Office would manage the request for such notification to occur.

For more information about the Community Warning System please see the Contra Costa County CAER website: http://www.cococaer.org/prepare.html#overview

The BIMID Office phone number 925-684-2210 has a backup answering service 24/7.  When the service answers, provide your name, street address and phone number.  State the reason for your call.  If there is an urgency for you to reach someone at BIMID, the Operator will contact an employee or Board Member while you are on the phone.  If this fails for any reason and you believe there is an emergency, hang up and dial 911.

Note:  If you dial 911 from a cell phone, your call is directed to the California Highway Patrol Dispatcher, not the Contra Costa Sheriff.  In an emergency, it is better to call 911 from a land line as the response time will be quicker.  To call the the Sheriff directly from a cell phone, dial 925-646-2441.

Definition of Disaster

A disaster may be personal only to you (accident, major illness) or neighborhood /regional (fire, flood, earthquake, chemical spill, pandemic)

Do Not Wait Until It Is Too Late


Plan to take your pets when you evacuate Do not leave them behind. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets.

Find a Safe Place Ahead of Time
Evacuation shelters will NOT accept pets except for service animals. Make a list of pet-friendly places outside your immediate area and keep a phone list handy. List friends, motels, boarding facilities and veterinary offices that might be able to shelter animals.

License your dogs. Besides legal issues, there are advantages if your pet is lost and turned in to the County shelter. Microchip animals, including indoor cats. Keep all information on tags current. If you or your emergency contacts move, update information with the agencies.

Keep current. Boarding places require proof of vaccination status.

Prepare pet for being crated
Crate train before disaster strikes. Have crates ready to take with you.

In Case You’re Not Home
Make arrangements with a neighbor who is home much of his/her time or within work walking distance. Select another neighbor for backup. These people should be comfortable with your pets, know where the emergency kit is located, have a key, know phone number of friend or relative of yours outside the immediate area.

Emergency Kit
1. Papers in a protective cover: copy of license, proof of vaccinations, chip number, recent photo, brief description of pet’s allergies, personality/ quirks, emergency numbers (vet, home phone-address, other emergency person)
2. Leash and harness
3. Food for 7 days (canned with can opener if needed)
4. Medications and directions
5. Water dish/bottled water
6. Stake out and line
7. Muzzle
8. Booties to protect feet/cover any wound
9 Blanket
10. Calming medication
11. Plastic bags for cleanup
12. Familiar items (toys, blanket, treats)
13. Have crate available if possible

First Aid Kit
Elastic bandage rolls or ace bandage
Gauze rolls and non adherent pads
Bandage tape
Ice cream sticks/newspaper (for splints)
Isopropyl alcohol prep pads
Betadine or Nolvasan (scrub and solution)
Liquid dish detergent (mild wound and body cleanser)
Hydrogen peroxide (clean wounds)
Saline solution (rinse wounds and eyes)
Towel and wash cloth
Styptic powder (clotting agent)
Syringe or eyedropper
Antibiotic ointment (wounds)
Antibiotic eye ointment
Activated charcoal (liquid) to induce vomiting
Antidiarrheal liquid or tablets
Benadryl (break capsule/rub on gums. 1 mg per lb. of dog
2 times a day)
Medications (prescriptions, heart worm and flea/tick prevention, hydrocortisone cream, etc. with instructions)

After the Disaster
For a few days, don’t allow pets to roam loose. Familiar landmarks and smells might be gone; pet can become disoriented and easily lost.
Be ready for behavioral problems that result from the stress of the situation. Get back to normal routine as soon as possible.

If Your Pet Is Lost
1. Visit each shelter in your area once every other day. Take current photo with you.
2. Create a flyer with pet’s photo description, pet’s name, your name and phone number(s).
3. Call neighbors and service workers such as mail carriers and PG&E workers.
4. Continue search. It’s not uncommon for people to be reunited with pets weeks, or even months, after they are lost.

Animals Not Cats or Dogs
A supply of food and other equipment necessary for the care of all animals should be kept in preparation for evacuation or for easy pickup by an assigned caretaker.

Bird Cages and Aquariums
Secure hanging cages so they won’t swing or fall. Tighten latch on bird cage so the door can’t be shaken open. Remember, birds must eat daily to survive. Secure aquariums on low tables. Keep a container with a lid to transport fish if necessary.

Small Mammals and Reptiles
These animals should be transported in secure carriers suitable for them to remain in while out of the home.

Make arrangements ahead of time for evacuation. Know how and where you can take them. Inform a neighbor of your plans. Keep halters ready; include: horse’s name, your name and emergency phone numbers. Keep identification photographs, information such as veterinary papers, medical needs, phone numbers in a watertight envelope and easily accessible by your or other caretaker. Prepare a basic first aid kit.