Yvette Urrea Moe
County of San Diego
Is there an earthquake fault near your home, your workplace or your child’s school? Or perhaps you live or work in a floodplain, high-risk wildfire area or a tsunami inundation zone. If so, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk in some cases, register for emergency notifications, and to better prepare your family for an emergency. To do that, you need all the facts.
The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services developed a Know Your Hazards online tool, found at www.readysandiego.org/know-your-hazards/, to help make getting that information as easy as typing in an address or dropping a pin on a map.
“This is an innovative approach to getting ahead of emergencies, and the timing couldn’t be better, as we move into peak wildfire season,” said chairwoman Dianne Jacob, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Providing homeowners with critical information is a key part of our effort to better protect the region.
“One lesson we have learned through the years is that we can never be prepared enough,” continued Jacob. “Wildfires have hit this region hard, but we’re vulnerable to other threats. Flooding, earthquakes or a tsunami can do just as much damage, and anything we can do to prepare our families and homes in advance makes a difference.”
San Diego County Fire Authority and CAL FIRE San Diego Unit Chief Tony Mecham said California is already seeing historic levels of wildfire activity this year.
“In one 10-day period in July, we saw over 550 new wildland fires in the state of California,” said Mecham.
Mecham added that CAL FIRE and County Fire have increased or upgraded staffing levels, and he encourages citizens to do what they can to prepare as well.
Another key step is signing up to receive AlertSanDiego emergency alerts on cell phones, since people are not always in their homes when an emergency develops. To that end, Jacob announced a new emergency preparedness promotion in partnership with Rubio’s Coastal Grill. Everyone who registers for AlertSanDiego (at www.readysandiego.org/alertsandiego/) between now and Aug. 14 will receive a coupon for a free taco – and people get to cross a preparedness item off their list.
The Know Your Hazards map lets you enter an address, then displays hazards for that location and areas nearby. If your location is in an earthquake hazard zone, for example, the map also shows 2016 earthquake shaking potential data and 2014 fault sources data from the California Geological Survey and the United States Geological Survey. If your location is in wildfire hazard zone, it shows you the level of threat ranging from moderate to very high based on data from the Fire and Resource Assessment Program.
An overview of the risk of that hazard in the region is included, as well as preparedness and safety information and preparedness action items.
“The first step in preparing for an emergency is knowing your risk,” said Holly Crawford, director of the County Office of Emergency Services. ”Our hazard map will inform you if your home, work or school address is vulnerable to fire, flood, earthquake or tsunami and provides the steps you can take to mitigate those risks.”
The tool, like all information on ReadySanDiego.org, is available in Spanish at www.readysandiego.org/es-us/.
To get started on emergency preparedness, residents are also urged to: complete a family disaster plan either online at www.readysandiego.org/family/ or from the free SDEmergency App; build or restock a disaster supplies kit to include prescription medications and pet emergency supplies if applicable; and practice evacuating their home with their family including choosing reunification locations.