Emergency Preparedness during the months of October and November are critical in southern California due to the increased fire risk. Last month the Chula VIsta Fire Department shared information on how people can best protect themselves from natural disasters with three simple steps campaign "Getting Ready, Getting Set and Go".
“I’m urging Chula Vista residents to be prepared for wildfires and other disasters that have the potential to affect our community,” Fire Captain and Public Information Officer for the Chula Vista Fire Department, Josh Sanders, said. “Many people believe a fire threat only pertains to them if they live within the Wildland Urban Interface. The truth is that the impacts of wildfire threaten homes that are far away from the interface,” Sanders said.
Chula Vista is no stranger to natural disasters and it’s no longer the matter of if a natural disaster occurs, but when. Taking the necessary measures to help prepare for natural disasters can help protect you, your community and your home. These precautions can be helpful for even lesser emergencies such as power outages.
Get ready by creating a personal disaster plan that can help plan, prepare, respond and recover from emergency disasters by covering topics such as notification strategies, evacuation routes and communication plans. The County’s Office of Emergency Services and Department of Aging & Independence Services developed a personal action plan for people who may need assistance, available online or in county libraries, to help older adults and those who may have access or functional needs develop a solid plan in preparing for an emergency or other disaster.
According to Sanders, Emergency supply kits holding supplies that will sustain individuals and members of their households for at least 72 hours are recommended and should be placed in most frequented areas such as your home, car and workplace.
Another step in preparation for wildfires is making your home fire resistant by cleaning debris from gutters, eaves, decks or gutters and creating a defensible space by removing dead or dying vegetation. Creating defensible space by removing flammable material or vegetation from your home gives it the best chance to survive a wildfire.
Get set and prepare your home for evacuation by taking actions such as shutting all windows and doors, shutting off gas or propane tanks, removing flammable or combustible items surrounding your home, and leaving lights on for visibility.
Lastly, you don't have to wait to evacuate. If you don't feel safe, don't hesitate to leave. Stay tuned to local news outlets and city sponsored outlets for up to date information. “If you receive an evacuation order, leave when directed before conditions worsen. Take important guidelines with you and follow guidance from the public officials,” Sanders urged.
Stay informed by registering at alertsandiego.org, the region's mass emergency notification system that sends emergency information to residents in San Diego County impacted by or at risk of being impacted by an emergency or disaster.