About Us

This site is produced by the County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services to provide information before, during and after disasters. AlertSanDiego.org is the official source of information from the County of San Diego during a large-scale emergency. The Preparedness section is an extensive resource for emergency preparedness.  It includes signing up for AlertSanDiego, which is used to notify mobile phone users of evacuations and other important safety information. The Recovery section provides a variety of recovery information for people affected by a major disaster.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that these questions supplement the information on AlertSanDiego.org. Remember, the best thing to do during an emergency is to listen to messages from your local emergency managers. They will share emergency information to phones, social media, and the local news. First responders will tell you when to shelter-in-place and when to evacuate. They will provide you with the best ways to protect yourself and your family.

What is emergency management?

Emergency management is the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all aspects of emergencies, particularly mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Emergency management involves plans, structures, and arrangements established to engage the normal endeavors of government, voluntary, and private agencies in a comprehensive and coordinated way to respond to the whole spectrum of emergency. This is also known as disaster management.

What can I do to prepare myself and my family for an emergency?

One of the easiest things to become better prepared for an emergency is to establish a Personal Disaster Plan. Educating yourself and your family is the best answer to emergency preparedness. Make time to sit down together, compile a list of "what if" questions that could occur during a disaster, and come up with answers. For example, "in case of an emergency, do we have everyone's phone number as well as an out-of-town contact?" Using the Personal Disaster Plan can help you prepare for and survive a disaster. After completing your plan make sure to practice it with your family so everyone knows what to do during a real emergency.

What kinds of supplies should I have available for a disaster?

Each household should have a home emergency supply kit that is organized and located for easy access during an emergency. Your emergency supplies should be sufficient to sustain you, your family, and pets for a minimum of 72 hours. A two-week supply of medicines and prescription drugs is recommended as well.

A Basic Emergency Kit includes:

·         Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

·         Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

·         Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

·         Flashlight and extra batteries

·         First aid kit

·         Whistle to signal for help

·         Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

·         Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

·         Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

·         Can opener for canned food

·         Local maps

For a complete guide and further information as to what should be included in the supply kit, please see the Personal Disaster Plan. Each vehicle should also have an emergency supply kit because a disaster may occur while you are away from home.

How can I talk to my children about emergency preparedness?

The Kids Preparedness section has resources on natural disasters that are age appropriate. The section could help parents educate children, ages 8-12, about emergencies, and how they can help their families prepare. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) encourages parents to visit the website with their children. In addition, DHS has developed Ready Kids in-school materials for teachers, which are available at  www.ready.gov  or by calling 1-800-BE-READY.

What should you do if you hear about an emergency and your children are in a school?

Schools should have an emergency plan. Check with your child's school to find out what the plan is, and to determine the proper actions to be taken during a disaster. If an emergency happens while children are in school, often the school will hold children until the area is safe and parents or a designated adult can pick them up. Parents should not drive to school to pick up children unless advised to do so. Driving on the roadways may put you or your child in harm's way.

How can I prepare my pet for an emergency?

Pets are also members of the family that should be included when preparing a Personal Disaster Plan. Incorporate how you will transport your pet when a disaster strikes. Also, include supplies for your pet in your home emergency supply kit, such as food, water, sanitation supplies, and toys. Placing a collar on your pet now with its rabies tags and identification is a good start in preparing your pet for a disaster. Further information can be obtained on the Pets Preparedness section.

What kinds of emergencies or disasters is San Diego County preparing for?

Disaster preparedness in San Diego County includes preparing for wildland fire, earthquake, pandemic, tsunami, flooding, terrorism, and other disasters. For more information on how to prepare yourself, your family, and your home for these disasters, please visit the Preparedness pages.

What is CERT?

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area, and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. Further information about the CERT Program can be obtained from the San Diego County CERT Program.

How do you respond to an emergency while on the road?

Planning for an emergency also means considering being away from home or on the road when an emergency occurs. One of the easiest ways to prepare for an emergency while on the road is by placing a small emergency supply kit in your car.

What are the Top Tips for being prepared at home and in your workplace?

For a quick jumpstart on how to prepare yourself, your family, and your business for an emergency, checkout the 30 Tips for Emergency Preparedness provided by the Department of Homeland Security.