Fire Safety Protocols – From Prevention to Evacuation

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Message from District 1 Councilmember Joe LaCava: Fire safety protocols in University City is of utmost importance to all of us due to the number of canyons in and around your community. Those canyons and open space add to University City’s quality of life but we need to be pro-active and prepared during fire season. It is essential that residents not only practice fire prevention in and around their homes, but also know what to do in the event of an active fire and if there should ever be a call for an evacuation.

Discussing what to do in the case of an evacuation is not meant to scare you, it is intended to prepare you. Preemptively sharing information will hopefully equip you and your family with the information to evacuate safely and efficiently, should that day come.

How does the City decide to call for an evacuation? Firefighters consider all elements of a fire’s behavior including the terrain, proximity, weather conditions, etc. and measures that against the threat to homes and structures. The decision is then made whether to evacuate all or a portion of the community.

If there is a call to evacuate, there are mechanisms in place to notify affected residents, including:

  • The Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA): the City will activate alerts that automatically go to cellular devices within a specific area to notify of a need to evacuate. The alerts do not require extra software on phone and may instruct the public to go to sandiego.gov for any additional instructions
  • Reverse 9-1-1: like the WEA but will target landline phones.
  • Boots on the ground: San Diego City employees will work with law enforcement to provide in-person assistance as well as help spread information related to evacuating and egress routes.

Residents can proactively prepare themselves by embracing the following safety measures:

In closing, I acknowledge and thank Diane Ahern and the University City Fire Safe Council for their diligent work both in pro-active prevention and educating the community about fire-safe protocols. Their efforts and continued dedication are instrumental in keeping our community safe.

Please contact University City community representative Kaitlyn Willoughby at kwilloughby@sandiego.gov with questions, comments, and concerns.


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