When your mobile device buzzes with an earthquake alert from San Diego County this Thursday, June 27 at 11 a.m., don’t be alarmed. It’s only a test.
The alert on June 27 is designed as a trial of the State of California Earthquake Early Warning, also called a ShakeAlert. It uses the same Wireless Emergency Alert system used for AMBER Alerts and weather emergencies. If you haven’t received one before, the tone may startle you, as it’s designed to get your attention. But don’t worry, you won’t need to do anything, as this is only a test.
And if you haven’t enrolled your family’s mobile devices to receive other emergency alerts, register them today at AlertSanDiego. (Landlines are automatically registered.)
The ShakeAlert is a good occasion to test your family’s emergency preparedness. While a major earthquake in the near future may be unlikely, any emergency is unlikely, and that is the point of emergency preparedness. We can’t wait for the emergency to get ready. By then it’s too late.
Here are some pointers that will help in a disaster emergency, be it an earthquake, a wildfire or any other emergency.
Form a Family Emergency Plan
Talk with your family, including your kids, about what to do if an emergency strikes. Some topics to cover are:
How will we get emergency alerts and warnings?
How will we get to safe locations during an emergency?
Where will we meet after an emergency and how will we get there?
How will we get in touch if mobile device, internet or landline doesn’t work?
How will we let loved ones know we are safe?
What is our plan for our pets?
Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit
Plan to be self-sufficient for 72 to 96 hours. Prepare a complete emergency supply kit to ensure you have what you will need. Some items to include are:
A three-day supply of nonperishable food and water, as well as a way to open it
An “important stuff” list, including contact information for family and service providers, such as insurance companies
A first aid kit that includes needed medications
One change of clothes/shoes per person
Flashlights with extra batteries
If you assembled your emergency supply kit last year, check it and bring it up to date.
And be sure to download the free mobile app, SD Emergency, to have access to the most current emergency information before the need arises.
For more information
The emergency preparedness page on the city’s website provides tips for residents and businesses on planning for disasters, and links to other helpful websites.