Being prepared before a natural disaster is imperative

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The Border Fire burning from Potrero to Lake Moreno is taking its toll in East County, getting far too close for comfort. So far as of this morning (June 22), the spread of the fire has seemed to stop and it is now 10 percent contained. But not without the help of the thousands of firefighters fighting the front lines by foot, air and heavy machinery.

The Border Fire burning from Potrero to Lake Moreno is taking its toll in East County, getting far too close for comfort. So far as of this morning (June 22), the spread of the fire has seemed to stop and it is now 10 percent contained. But not without the help of the thousands of firefighters fighting the front lines by foot, air and heavy machinery. It is no secret that the drought has fueled many problems throughout the state, but the amount of fires that we already have burning is devastating and we have not officially even gotten close to our normal fire season and fueling Santa Ana winds.

People have fled their homes, and many who were not home when the blaze hit, have yet to see what has become of their homes in the backcountry. Although no homes have been reported burned, many have already suffered damage due to smoke, being displaced and there is a cry out for help for the many animals that were left behind or for those that were unable to enter to try and save them. Evacuating a ranch or farm is no easy task, especially when fire is fueled by winds and quickly putting a home in harms way.

But East County is responding in every way it knows how, and with the severe destruction that it has seen due to wildfires over the years, the community is stepping up. They understand the need and are doing everything in their power to help meet those needs for those displaced and those still in harms way.

The hope of our nearly non-existent El Nino year is long gone and we are in for a hot and dangerous summer and fall. The real question is are you prepared for what may come?

In tandem with the fires, we have had a series of earthquakes in the Brawley area ranging from 2.6 to 5.2. This is also disturbing in the fact that scientist have said for years that this area is long overdue for a large earthquake. Once again, are we prepared?

It is important to stock up on supplies, but it is more important to have a plan of action. Especially with large families, animals that need transportation and the scenarios depend on the disaster. There needs to be enough supplies in a home to sustain the size of the family, and probably more for friends and neighbors to stand alone for at least up to two weeks. With our history of natural disasters, it has shown many times that a two-week supply of water and food on hand is not enough before relief arrives. We also need to be prepared to run. This requires a family plan. Choosing choice spots to meet up when the family is separated is crucial. For those with animals, establishing a plan with your neighbors that are home can save the lives of your pets or livestock.

My family is scattered from South Bay to East County, but we all know where to go when needed. And in the midst of a natural disaster, the last thing you want is to be separated from your family. At the looks of things right now, we might be in for a rough year. Hopefully not, but the odds are stacked against us, so take preparedness seriously. There are many websites that can help you decide what your priorities are in the case of wildfires, earthquakes and tsunamis. Take the time to make a checklist and prepare yourself for worst-case scenario situations. It’s better to be prepared and nothing happen than for something to happen and not be prepared.

Visit www.sandiegocounty.gov, www.readysandiego.org, and your local city government website to see if you are ready and to keep your family in all forms safe.

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