How prepared are you in the event of a wildfire? Do you know what to do when an earthquake strikes? These are the types of questions you should regularly ask yourself to remain safe and protect your family in the event of a disaster.

September marks National Preparedness Month, a time for everyone to learn about and prepare for emergencies that could affect us at home, in the workplace and where we travel.

As part of this effort, the federal government provides everyone with information and resources to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. Among the many helpful tips and tools, the #BeReady campaign emphasizes three important steps:

  1. Develop a family emergency plan
  2. Build an emergency supply kit
  3. Stay informed about the potential emergencies that could occur in your area

We all have a responsibility when it comes to safety. The right tools, proper safety precautions and a fast reaction time are critical. But the best way to mitigate potential dangers when facing a natural or manmade disaster is to prepare.

As San Diegans, we know that natural disasters like wildfires pose a threat to our communities and have the potential to significantly alter our quality of life. That’s why the Regional Disaster Fund at The San Diego Foundation is in place to support County of San Diego recovery efforts and aid survivors in the aftermath, just like it did following the Lilac Fire in 2017.

It’s also important that everyone create a plan, practice it and proactively refresh that plan each month.

There are simple things you can do right now to protect yourself against common disasters in San Diego, such as clearing combustible vegetation in a 100-foot radius around your house.


Planning Extends Beyond the Home

There’s no predicting where you may be when disaster strikes. That’s why it’s imperative that you speak to your neighbors and colleagues about emergency plans. Businesses should also determine their potential risks and develop strategies on how to best deal with them to keep employees safe.

Years ago, when a blackout struck the entire San Diego region, most individuals were still at work while their families were spread out at schools and other businesses across the County. San Diegans were scrambling to find out how to get in touch with loved ones and what to do as the region came to a halt. The same could happen with any type of disaster.

Plan for these different scenarios and communicate with your family, neighbors and coworkers so that everyone knows what to do.

One helpful tip is to download the official FEMA app or San Diego Emergency app to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, learn about safety tips and find local emergency shelters in the event of a disaster.

Collaborate with your loved ones and community and take action today.