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Public Safety

S.D. Emergency Agency Outlines Top Disaster Risks For 2010

A sign displays current fire danger as extreme in Southern California.
Justin Sullivan
A sign displays current fire danger as extreme in Southern California.

The Head of San Diego County’s Office of Emergency Operations outlines the biggest threats to San Diegans’ safety in 2010.

Ron Lane says that, from FEMA on down, disaster response agencies are focused this year on getting individual citizens to prepare for emergencies, rather than rely on government help. He practices what he preaches and offers a tip from his own emergency preparedness plan.

"A lot of people focus on the emergency kit itself, and making sure you have things like water," he said. "But to my mind, the key thing is the 15 minute drill.”"

Lane says knowing exactly what you would take if you had to evacuate your home in 15 minutes is key for San Diegans. He says fires are the most likely disaster in the San Diego region, since major wildfires can occur every four or five years.

Statistically, earthquakes are the second most likely disaster, Lane says, and the Rose Canyon fault poses the biggest threat.

The third highest risk that the Office of Emergency Services is preparing for is a terrorist attack. Lane says the Port of San Diego has spent millions of dollars on new anti-terrorist strategies. First responders are already preparing, he says, for a major training exercise in May based on a terrorist scenario in San Diego Bay.