Skip to main content

Dig Imperial Beach

Tips on Disaster Preparedness for You, your Family and even your Pet from the City of Imperial Beach

Nov 15, 2015 07:52AM ● By Paul Spear
Heavy rains predicted.  Are you ready?. Creating a family plan for a natural disaster. Emergency Preparedness for Your Pet. Tsunami Preparedness All info from City of Imperial Beach!

Imperial Beach News Updates and Information
Heavy rains predicted.  Are you ready?
Emergency Preparedness... El Niño.  These are words we are going to hear a lot more about in coming months, especially this coming Tuesday, November 17 at the Tijuana Estuary at our El Niño Community Forum & Sea Level Rise Workshop (from 6 to 8 PM, see event details below).
You have heard a lot about these subjects, and you are going to hear a lot more.  We have no way of knowing whether these prognostications will come true or not... after all, we are dealing with weather people here.  But enough of them are saying the same things, so we need to pay attention.
The first thing that Imperial Beach residents need to be aware of is that our "beach" is not a "bluff."  It is not even a "Dune."  If the most frightful predictions are correct, homes and businesses along our ocean front could suffer from extreme high tides.  That, combined with some serious rainfall, could lead to flooding and inundation.  What's worse after the flooding, water could be trapped between highlands and the beach... and that describes a great deal of property in Imperial Beach.
Feeling a lot like "Chicken Little," we feel it is necessary to forward some information we have gathered from various sources to help keep your family and property as safe from peril as possible.  Over the next few weeks, we will provide you with information we hope you will not need, but we hope you will recognize the potential value of, and take notice.  Much of it is information that could also be helpful in case of fire, power outage, or other emergencies, so folks... please pay attention.
First, let us take a look at several immediate family concerns.  We will move on to others... but first things first.  As always, additional information is available in complete printed form at the City Manager's office, City Hall.
Creating a family plan for a natural disaster
Talking with your family and neighbors about what to do if a natural disaster occurs is the starting point for being prepared.
  • Pick at least two places to meet - one near your home and one outside your neighborhood if you can't get home. Families should carry a card with the addresses and phone numbers of the designated meeting places.
  • Ask about emergency plans at the places where your family spends the most time - schools, day-care centers, workplaces, nursing homes or other facilities and how families are contacted in a crisis. Also find out if there are adequate emergency supplies, if there's a "shelter-in-place" should the need arise, and if there's an evacuation site if it's necessary.  If a plan doesn't exist, volunteer to help develop one.
  • Designate an out-of-state relative or friend to be the central contact person. This is particularly important if phone lines within San Diego are busy, but calls outside the county may go through. Put that contact person's name, address and phone number in writing for each family member to carry at all times and make it available to the people with whom your children or aging relatives spend time.
Initiate the plan
  • Create a checklist of things you'll need and need to do in an emergency; do what you can in advance; rehearse your plan as a family and update information every six months.
  • Explore with your children the FEMA Web site for kids, where they can do activities and test their knowledge about disaster preparation. They also will find things to pack in their own disaster-supplies backpack (crayons, favorite books, scissors and glue, deck of cards, doll or stuffed animal, puzzles) to help them feel comforted and stay occupied in an emergency.
  • You can find checklists, preprinted forms to fill out and other useful information at: (U.S. Department of Homeland Security);
(Excerpt from UTSanDiego)
Emergency Preparedness for Your Pet

Pets need disaster kits and planning as much as humans. You can get more details from your veterinarian and various organizations, such as the San Diego County Humane Society and the SPCA, 5500 Gaines St. in Linda Vista, (619) Have your pet fitted with a microchip containing information to aid in identifying it if it gets lost. Many veterinarians, pet groups and shelters - such as the Pet Network in San Marcos, (760) 744-5300, and the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, (619) 278-9760 or - offer microchipping for a fee.

During a disaster
  • Evacuate pets early, if you have warning. If you are not home, ask a friend or neighbor to help. If you must leave pets behind, do not tie them up. Leave food and water in non-spill containers. If they are left inside, place a notice on the front door that pets are indoors.
  • Emergency shelters generally do not allow pets to accompany owners.
  • Officials there should be able to help find suitable temporary quarters for pets.

After a disaster

  • If your pet is lost, visit animal shelters daily and distribute fliers in the area. After recovering your pet, examine it for injury or illness and see a vet if necessary. On its Web site,, the county
  • Department of Animal Services Department posts photos of pets it rescues.
  • The San Diego Humane Society's volunteer Animal Rescue Reserve,(619) 299-0871, operates a 24-hour service to help recover horses, livestock and household pets.
(Excerpt from UTSanDiego)
Tsunami Preparedness
A tsunami could strike the Imperial Beach coastline at any time. Although a tsunami cannot be
prevented, you can mitigate adverse impacts through community preparedness, timely warnings and effective
response. (see linked Tsunami Information brochure).

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Dig Imperial Beach's free newsletter to catch every headline