Natural or man-made disasters can strike at any moment without notice. Whether it be an earthquake, wildfire, flood or an act of terrorism, staying composed and knowing what to do during a crisis situation takes PREPARATION and PRACTICE.
Make sure you know how you will be notified of an emergency in your area.
- First and most important is the county's notification system. If your address is being evacuated, you will receive a phone message with evacuation information and instructions. Landlines are automatically part of the date base, but cell phones and email addresses need to be registered. This can be done online in only a few minutes at AlertSanDiego. You can register as many cell phones and emails as you would like.
- Law enforcement will go through neighborhoods advising residents of the evacuation notice.
- San Diego County also has an app that can be downloaded to your phone. SD Emergency provides information on disaster preparedness and current incidents in San Diego County, including push notifications of evacuation orders. The app allows you to customize what information you see and which notifications are pushed.
- During emergency situations, we do our best to provide up-to-date, accurate information on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter (you may wish to consider opting to receive our tweets as text messages). Please note: our accounts are on both Facebook and Twitter are verified. If you don't see the little check next to our name that is not an official account.
Depending on the severity of the disaster at hand, fire and emergency medical services may be delayed, roads may be blocked, and the water supply may be contaminated. You must be prepared to survive on your own until help arrives. The American Red Cross suggests a 3-step preparation plan:
- Get a Kit
- Make a Plan
- Be Informed
More information, including suggested items for your emergency kit and what to include in your emergency plan, can be found on their Preparing for Emergencies page.
Remember, there are many different types of emergencies. Living in San Diego County, wildfires are a constant threat and we should always be prepared. In addition, we should also know what to do if other types of emergencies arise, including:
The following links also contain helpful information:
- American Red Cross, San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter
- County Office of Emergency Services
- California Office of Emergency Services
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Ready.gov for Kids
Disaster Preparedness for Pets and Livestock
It is very important to include your pets or livestock as part of your disaster plan, especially how you will transport them. If you evacuate your property prior to or during a disaster DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. You may be evacuated for days and it's unlikely they will survive on their own. Prepare an emergency kit with all the supplies your pets will need, including leashes, litter boxes, food, etc., and have it ready to go along with your family's emergency kit.
Before an emergency occurs, contact your local animal shelter, humane society or veterinarian for information about caring for animals during a crisis situation. Find out if there will be any shelters set-up to take pets in an emergency and ask your veterinarian whether they will accept your pet during a disaster. Find out well in advance whether any local hotels or motels will allow pets. For large animals and livestock, make arrangements for the use of trucks, trailers and other vehicles, as well as experienced handlers and drivers to transport the animals. Whenever possible, familiarize your animals with these vehicles in advance so they are less frightened, making for an effortless evacuation. During emergencies, the Facebook group Southern California Equine Emergency Evacuation may be a good resource.
Additional resources for pet disaster preparedness:
Download the Fire District's "Disaster Preparedness for Pets" information sheet (pdf)
San Diego Humane Society
San Diego Animal Control
24-hour emergency help: 619-236-2341