Safety

Local artist and resident David Greene shares his preparedness plan for wildfires with the group.

WONDER VALLEY — Safety was a central topic at the Wonder Valley community meeting Saturday, June 8.

Fire safety is crucial as temperatures in the region continue to rise and the once lively super bloom plant abundance leaves plenty of dry fuel. The need for awareness is heightened since there is no fire department in Wonder Valley.

Preparing for flooding is another important step residents should take.

“Everybody’s situation is different. Some people have wells, some have propane appliances versus other appliances, so all your needs are going to be different,” Wonder Valley Community Center Coordinator Teresa Sitz said.

Recommended general emergency supplies for one to two weeks include a flashlight and batteries, fire extinguishers, a solar phone charger, non-perishable foods, water, sports drinks, extra medications and an old-fashioned land line phone.

Residents familiar with the challenges of summers in Wonder Valley offered advice and information from their personal experiences.

“When we lose electricity, we lose power but the phone line is its own battery system. You may lose electricity but your phone will still work if you have an old-fashioned land line telephone. The towers will go out just like everything else when you lose electricity,” local property owner Ed Vallerand said.

Individuals and families that only use cell phones should register their phones with the California Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS). This will enable people to receive critical notifications in emergency situations about  wildfires and evacuations.

Visit SBCfire.org and search for ‘alert warning systems’ to sign up to receive text messages. Entering a current address ensures that the registered phone gets updates related to the local area.  Each individual cell number has to be registered to receive updates.

Other optional things to have on hand, depending on household needs, may include: a siphon hose for taking water out of reserve tanks, disposable dishes and utensils, a composting toilet and wet wipes.

Local artist David Greene described plans he has to make his pool serve as a water source in the event of fire.

“I’ve already got an above ground pool on my property next to the house. I’m going to spend the $200-$300 to get a small gas powered water pump and then maybe another $100 to get a 100 foot hose that’ll reach to the far end of the house,” said Green.

“So, if there is ever a fire I just have to start the water pump. You’ve got at least some water to combat fire immediately rather than waiting the 20 minutes.”

Every household should consider their needs and circumstances and prepare accordingly.

“I’m just suggesting that you sit down and think through what you are going to need if you are stranded in your house for a week or two. There were people who couldn’t get out of their driveways for a week. It’s possible that if we get a big monsoon rain in July or August people can get stuck for some time,” Sitz said.  

Important contact numbers to have on hand:

In case of emergency dial 911

Sheriff’s department (non-emergency): (760) 956-5001 Always ask for an incident number.

Report a Southern California Edison outage: (800) 611-1911

For more information on upcoming Wonder Valley meetings, events, food distribution dates and other resources, visit: www.wondervalley.org

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