San Diego

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Emergency Preparedness: Get Involved

When wildfires strike, they impact the whole community.Being in a desert environment, San Diego is especially vulnerable to disasters such as wildfires and floods. Fortunately, individuals and communities can work together to prevent and prepare for these disasters.


Because San Diego is experiencing one of the driest periods in its history, it is important that every resident prepare their home and their family for the possibility of a major fire. The City has a community-based solution called the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel train CERT members to help families, neighbors and businesses get through the first few hours or days when emergency services are overwhelmed.

In Council District 1, there are CERT groups in the North Coastal and Carmel Valley communities. To form or join a CERT group in your neighborhood, please visit the CERT website for more information. The website has important emergency preparedness tips as well.

Additionally, residents can create community groups and prepare their individual households to prevent and prepare for wildfires by:

  • Creating a defensible space by clearing brush away from their homes.
  • Using fire-resistant landscaping and home features.
  • Assembling emergency supplies and belongings in a safe place.
  • Planning escape routes and making sure all home residents know the plan of action.
  • Staying aware of the latest news from the local media and local fire department.

For more information, please download the San Diego Fire Department’s PDF icon wildfire action guide.


Winter storms in San Diego can be extreme, causing flooding, high coastal surf, and mudslides. These events can be damaging and dangerous, but understanding and preparing for these storms can prevent destruction and increase safety.

To prepare for winter storms, San Diego residents can:

  • Remove trash and yard waste from their homes to prevent flooding.
  • Sign up for Alert San Diego notifications for all their telephone numbers.
  • The District 1 free sand bag pickup location is: Standley Recreation Center—3585 Governor Drive, San Diego, CA 92122

  • Report blocked storm drains by calling (619) 235-1000 or by submitting an online storm water service request with the City's Transportation & Storm Water Department.
  • Once the storms start, leave early if their property is in a flood zone.
  • Report flooding to the City's emergency dispatch center at (619) 527-7500.
  • Drive carefully! Slow down and not drive through standing water.

For a list of resources to help prepare for floods, visit Ready San Diego or the San Diego County Emergency Services webpage.


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