A Sheriff’s investigation shut down a stretch of Poway Road in August, frustrating Garden Road residents who weren’t able to get back into their neighborhood. People understood the reason behind the blocked roads; they just weren’t prepared for it. The closure brought to light a component of emergency planning that isn’t always talked about: know a neighbor and your neighborhood.
Map it OutWhat would you do if your regular route to or from your neighborhood was cut off? Because of its rural nature, the reality is that some Poway neighborhoods have limited access routes. Identify and map out at least one alternate route for you and your family and have a meeting spot identified in case you aren’t able to leave all together.
Speed Dial it InDisaster plans always emphasize the need to designate an out-of-area emergency contact for your family to check in with in the event of a disaster. That’s a great way to connect with loved ones if phone service in a disaster area is limited. But if you’re stuck away from home, it would be handy to have an “in area” contact as well. Build a list in your cell phone of neighbors you can call to check on your house, loved ones or pets.
After the August incident, city staff worked out a plan to more effectively help residents when access to their neighborhood is compromised. City staff will work to provide maps with alternative routes and ensure the information is communicated at road closures and points of detour. Specific to the Garden Road area, our Public Works department also designed a road sign that can quickly be activated to clearly identify when the restricted ramp on Scripps Poway Parkway is open for emergency access to Sycamore Canyon Road.
To keep up to date on information specific to Poway during an emergency, follow @cityofpoway on Twitter (you don’t need a Twitter account to monitor) and sign up for Nextdoor.
In the event of a large-scale disaster, our community is fortunate to have a unique volunteer group that supports the city’s emergency communication efforts. The Poway Neighborhood Emergency Corps is a grass roots network of neighbors. The goal is to have a volunteer coordinator in each neighborhood who serves as a go-between with the city’s emergency staff, area Ham Radio operators and their neighbors. PNEC holds monthly workshops with valuable information on disaster preparedness.