California has already reached historic levels in acres burned - 700 fires with over 1.3 million acres burned! As always, California’s first responders are on the job, protecting our lives, our property, our families, everything we hold dear. We owe them our cooperation, our respect and our support.
Last winter’s heavy rainfall generated a huge amount of fuel in our arid region. Now that summer is winding down, that fuel is dry and just waiting for a spark. With Santa Ana wind season approaching, each of us needs to be prepared, and to have a plan for fires or any disaster that’s likely to strike. Defensible space around homes is absolutely essential, especially for those living in the backcountry. Everyone should have a family disaster plan that includes where to meet, how to keep in touch, what to do with pets and livestock, as well as gathering supplies including food, water and medication – all this must all be planned in advance. Once disaster strikes, it’s too late.
There are many agencies and programs that can help you prepare a disaster-response plan for your family --- here are just a few:
- California Office of Emergency Services (OES): http://www.caloes.ca.gov/
- Listos California: https://www.listoscalifornia.org/
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov/
- Cal Fire: https://www.fire.ca.gov/; https://www.readyforwildfire.org/
- San Diego County OES: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/oes/
- Department of Homeland Security: https://www.ready.gov/
- RivCoReady: https://www.rivcoready.org
California’s recent wildfires, and the earthquakes near the Salton Sea, should serve as a wakeup call for all of us. Now is the time to plan and prepare. The safety of our loved ones may depend on actions we take today.