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San Diego County leaders emphasize wildfire preparedness

The press conference comes after the County Supervisors approved a plan to spend more than $2.5 million to boost wildfire preparedness.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — County supervisors, firefighters, sheriffs gathered Friday morning to discuss wildfire preparedness, increased funding, and the plan for the summer/fall months. They also outlined their fire readiness plans for the county.

The press conference comes after the County Supervisors approved a plan to spend more than $2.5 million to boost wildfire preparedness. The plan will pay for additional county fire captains, a battalion chief and will expand current fire management efforts along San Diego County roads.

There will also be more resources directed towards communities with fewer routes in and out including more outreach and help to community members clearing defensible space around homes and businesses.

State law requires that residents treat 100 feet of defensible space around their homes. This includes such steps as mowing and properly maintaining lawn and weeds, pruning or removing ignitable trees and shrubs, stacking firewood away from the home and making sure the home's address is visible to emergency vehicles.

When it is time to evacuate, have an emergency kit packed with everything you’ll need while you’re away from home. 

Here’s what CalFire suggests: a few changes of clothes, water, snacks, sturdy shoes, medication, cell phone charger, flashlight, batteries, a multitool, battery-powered radio, lighter, important documents like passports and social security cards and a good book.

Jeff Toney, Director of the Office of Emergency Services said, “We also want people to know that if they do not feel safe, they can evacuate early. People do not need to, and should not, wait for an official evacuation order.”

Tips from the county include:

  • Be sure your cell phone is registered with AlertSanDiego, the county’s regional notification system to receive the warnings directly to your mobile phone. People may also register their VoIP phone numbers or emails as well.
  • Residents may also download the ReadySanDiego SDEmergencyApp which also provides emergency information such as incident updates, shelter locations, evacuation areas and hazard perimeters.
  • Tune in to local news coverage on the fire. The main Emergency Alert System radio stations for San Diego County are KOGO AM 600 and KLSD AM 1360.
  • Now is the time for households to review, or create, a personal disaster plan in English or in Spanish. The guide includes disaster preparedness and immediate safety tips that can be used in any emergency. Among the tips are what you need to know about evacuations and suggestions on what you can take with you. Residents may also consider various routes to take to leave the community, know more than one in case one is not safe to use due to the emergency.
  • Check on elderly or neighbors who might require assistance evacuating.
  • Have a plan to shelter large animals or livestock and if possible, evacuate them early. If you need assistance evacuating call (619) 236-2341.
  • Take household pets with you whenever possible.

If you would like more information on how to prepare for wildfires or emergencies, head to ReadySandiego.org.

WATCH: Gov. Newsom highlights his $2 billion proposal in wildfire preparedness