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County Launches Disaster Preparedness Pilot Program For ‘Vulnerable’ Communities

County officials announce the launch of a new pilot program to help people in...

Photo by Priya Sridhar

Above: County officials announce the launch of a new pilot program to help people in unincorporated areas of San Diego County come up with emergency preparedness plans in San Diego on January 22, 2020.

San Diego County officials unveiled the Neighborhood Evacuation Team, a new pilot program aimed at helping "vulnerable people" in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County come up with their own emergency response plan before disaster strikes.

"Those people that have disabilities are sometimes I don't want to say left behind, but they're scrambling trying to figure out how are they going to get out of harm's way," said San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox. "So this program is specifically focused on people with disabilities who may have an inability to move in a fast enough manner."

Reported by Priya Sridhar

Residents of the unincorporated areas can visit this website and fill out a form. Someone from the Community Emergency Response Team, volunteers throughout the county who are trained by the Office of Emergency Services, will then contact the person and either schedule a visit or a phone conversation to come up with a plan.

"A lot of it is: what do you need if you have to go?" said Jeff Toney, Director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services. "Your important papers, your medications ... what about your pets? Is there a neighbor you can call that can come?"

The program is funded through a $260,000 state grant. County officials are hoping they will be able to extend the program beyond the unincorporated areas of the county by July.

Listen to this story by Priya Sridhar.

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Photo of Priya Sridhar

Priya Sridhar
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I enjoy investigating consumer stories that can help San Diegans navigate their daily lives.

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