Hi I’m Rick Sitta, Fire Chief of Heartland Fire & Rescue, proudly serving the cities of La Mesa, El Cajon, and Lemon Grove. As you know, El Nino is predicted to bring wetter than normal rainy season to San Diego county. Your safety is our primary concern. Here are a few tips on what you can do to get prepared.
- Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe deposit box or electronically scanned off-site if necessary, away from potential flooding.
- Check your homeowners or renters insurance and auto insurance for flood coverage.
- Store redundant supplies in multiple locations like at work, in your home, and in your car.
- Keep your car fueled. If electric power is cut off filling stations might not be able to operate.
- Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, and other emergency building materials handy for water proofing your home or business. Turn around. Don’t drown.
- Never try to cross a stream or waters above your knees. Even water as low as six inches deep may cause you to be swept up your feet by strong currents.
- Don’t try to drive over a flooded road where the depth of water is unknown or is obviously not safe. This may cause you to become stranded or trapped.
- If advised by your local authorities to leave home quickly relocate your self, your family, and pets to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
- If your gas is shut off, do not turn gas back on yourself.
- Rely on utility crews to ensure safe relighting.
- Follow local water company instructions regarding safety of drinking water. If in doubt, bring water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute or purify the water before drinking.
- Avoid downed power lines and broken gas lines. Report them immediately to SDGE, police, or the fire department.
- Avoid downed trees or utility poles that may be blocking the road. They may have brought down electrical lines with them.
- Treat all downed wires as dangerous even if you think they are not electrical wires.
- Know what it takes to shelter in place.
- Have an evacuation plan and test your plan ahead of time. Have a meeting place identified – a primary and an alternate in case you are separated.
- Have a communications plans in place to connect with family members and friends. Include an out of area contact.
- Register for alert San Diego to receive emergency notifications.
- Conduct a treasure hunt in your home to see what supplies you already have on hand before you buy.
Here are some basic home kit supplies you should consider.
- Food and water for 3 days.
- Personal hygiene items
- Pet care items
- Miscellaneous items like work gloves, flash lights, duct tape, etc. personal needs items like toiletries, medications, and assistive devices.
- Stay informed. Follow us at Heartland Fire on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Nixle. Call 211 San Diego for non emergency information. Turn in to 600 AM KOGO.
A lot of information links can be obtained at our website at heartlandfire.org Please take the time now before the rain gets here to be prepared. From your friends at the fire department – stay dry and stay safe.