How San Diego would react during an emergency

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SAN DIEGO – The Boston-area lockdown Friday had San Diego law enforcement reminding residents how to be ready if a similar situation would happen in the county.

Search for bombing suspect in BostonBoston and its surrounding suburbs were on lockdown Friday morning as police worked to track down the second suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“There’s two or three cops standing on the street corner every block,” said Jonthan Chen, former San Diego resident.

Chen now lives on the border of Belmont and Watertown.  Watertown is where 19-year old-suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev was hiding out.

“It’s really close to us,” said Chen.  “There’s a heavy armored vehicle outside my door without about 20 soldiers hanging out of it.”

“I look out my front door and there’s all this commotion,” said Lisa Mercurio, who lives across the river in Cambridge.

Mercurio saw all the action Thursday night as a gun battle raged between authorities and Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlin.  The 26-year-old was killed in the shootout.  His younger brother got away.

“There’s a police line about a half a block where the street is where they’re search the apartment,” said Mercurio.

She lives just a block away from the younger Tsarnaev.

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said if such an emergency were to strike San Diego would be ready.

“You can tell they’re very well coordinated and well organized,” said Lansdowne. “We have training scenarios where we build scenarios very similar to this.”

In the event of an emergency law enforcement would take the helm of the command.  Then coordination of response would come from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services.

“We’re helping to get the word out to the public,” said Holly Crawford, director of OES.  “We can quickly make calls to residents with whatever that protective recommendation.”

Crawford said that communication would happen through the reverse 9-11 system,  social media and local press.  In addition to communication, the agency is also key in coordination.   From police, fire to medical, all agencies would work through the OES.

“We also make sure resources are available and mobilized,” said Crawford.  “For example if they needed a special piece of equipment or service, we would secure that for them.”

The OES is a working resource for San Diego County’s 18 cities.

As resources continue to work in Boston, residents there watch, wait and pray.

“Hopefully they catch him today,” said Mercurio.  “I think people are really anxious to get back to the normal.”

“We have to find the guy, hopefully they find him soon,” said Chen.

While San Diego has never had a “shelter in place” situation, emergency officials said we have many other emergencies from wildfires to earthquakes.

“That’s why it’s so important for everyone to register on the reverse 9-11 system,” said Crawford.  “Especially if you have a cell phone.”

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