Local Red Cross urges residents to prepare for wildfires

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — As more than a dozen wildfires burn across California, San Diego’s local Red Cross is urging residents to create a wildfire preparedness plan in case of an emergency or quick evacuation. 

The Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties (SDIC) has created a wildfire checklist, printable in both English and Spanish, to help San Diegans in case of a wildfire emergency.

If residents need to quickly evacuate, the Red Cross recommends: 

  • If you think you may need to evacuate, confine all pets to one room so you can quickly and easily take them and go
  • Back your car into the driveway for a safer and more efficient way out
  • Always keep at least half a tank of gas in your car
  • Consider putting together a "digital disaster kit"- put all your important documents onto a thumb drive, which you can quickly grab and take with you if you have to evacuate quickly

But a better option is to be prepared long before evacuation occurs. "Be Red Cross Ready" by: 

Getting a Kit

  • Keep supplies in an easy-to-carry, "grab-and-go" emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
  • Have multiple kits, for example, one for your home and one for your vehicle.
  • Include nonperishable foods, water (at least a gallon per person per day), a flashlight and crank radio, cell phone chargers, extra cash, personal items, medications, and special items needed for children or pets.

Making a Plan

  • Meet with family members, make a plan, and practice it together.
  • Include preparations for your pets as well!
  • Choose two places to meet: one location outside your home and one location outside your neighborhood, in case you are asked to evacuate.
  • Have multiple evacuation routes in case one route is blocked. Practice driving your route regularly – muscle memory can help greatly during disasters when emotions and tensions are running high.
  • Remember, you don’t need to wait for an official evacuation order. If you feel threatened, be sure that you leave with time to spare. This helps you AND first responders.

Being Informed

  • Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get information- whether through radio, TV, or even social media.
  • Social media is being used more and more to access information during disasters. You can follow the San Diego Red Cross, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, Cal Fire and many others on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
  • You can even download the Red Cross Emergency App for localized wildfire alerts, preparedness info, and to find Red Cross shelters near you in the event of an emergency

The Red Cross also asks residents to prepare for other types of disasters. For more information on creating preparedness plans for other disasters, visit here

Categories: Local San Diego News