County creates disaster plans to help residents prepare for wildfires

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SAN DIEGO -- Historically, this is the most dangerous time of year for fires to start up in San Diego.

San Diego County Emergency Services announced Friday that it plans to mail out 200,000 Personal Disaster Plans to people living in high-risk areas.

“We did a survey a couple years ago and found that 50% of residents in San Diego say they are prepared to evacuate in less than 15 minutes,” said Holly Porter with County Emergency Services.

The information included in the distributed files will help inform residents about how to prepare to get out quickly, as well as what they should pack.

“I could go in two minutes,’ said Sam Gardner, a Mission Hills resident who lives in one of the neighborhoods targeted as a high-risk fire area. “I think other people would tell you they are ready to go in 15 minutes but probably wouldn’t really be ready.”

Gardner said the fire that took place in the Kensington neighborhood earlier this week was a reminder that fires can start and spread quickly, even in urban areas.

“If something happened down there,” he said, pointing to the canyon in his backyard, “boom -- it would shoot up the hillside and be a very bad situation.”

Visit the county's official website to learn more about the Personal Disaster Plans.

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