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Disaster Preparedness

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Urban wildland fireFire is often considered to be our greatest threat in San Diego County, and in the City of Chula Vista our fire threat is evident in our canyons and the vast open areas that surround our city. Additionally, the five-year drought that plagues the state of California adds to the severity of our wildfire risk.

Be Prepared for Wildfire

Ready, Set, GO!

  • Get Ready
    • Prepare your home and property for wildfire
    • Harden your home with fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors on every level
    • Ensure appliance cords are in tact (no fraying)
    • Duel-pane windows, tile roofs
    • Avoid storing combustibles near your home
  • Get Set
    • Prepare a family disaster plan and an evacuation plan
    • Practice your plan with your family
    • Build an emergency supplies kit
  • GO!
    • Don’t wait! Leave early!
    • Follow all instructions and recommendations from local officials
    • Grab your already made emergency supplies kit and evacuate safely



earthquakeSan Diego County has at least 10 known faults with the potential to impact the region. The Rose Canyon Fault is considered San Diego County’s greatest threat, as it cuts through downtown. The closest fault nearest the City of Chula Vista is the La Nacion Fault System, with a likely magnitude between 6.2-6.6. For comprehensive overview of earthquake preparedness, visit

General earthquake reminders:

  • Before an earthquake
    • Home hazard hunt – identify potential hazards in your home
    • Know how to shut off appliances. Install earthquake shut off valves
      • DO NOT turn off your meter unless you smell gas, hear the sound of gas or see other signs of a gas leak. For additional safety, a shut-off valve should be installed at every gas appliance, so if a leak occurs at a specific appliance, you can shut off the gas in one location rather than shutting off all gas service.
    • Know how to shut off your electricity
    • Secure heavy items and furniture with straps. Install latches on cabinets. Move heavier items to lower shelves
  • During an earthquake
    • Drop, Cover, and Hold on!
      • Drop down on all fours and
      • Take cover underneath a sturdy table or desk
      • Cover you head and hold on to the desk/table and be prepared to move with it.
    • Many injuries occur from unsecured household objects, falling bookcases, shelves, lamps, or mirrors. Similar injuries can occur at work or in stores and markets. Choose a safe place in every room in your home.
  • After an earthquake
    • Look for a clear path to safety, leave the building and move to an open space
    • Check the perimeter of the building for any identifiable cracks or damage
    • Monitor local media alerts for further instructions.

      Other Earthquake Resources



Even though our city isn’t known for adequate amounts of rainfall, localized and urban flooding can occur with minimal amounts of rainfall. Whether it rains a lot or a little, flooding is a possibility, from nuisance flooding to flooding that can cause public and private property damage.

Be Flood Ready

Basic safety tips include:

  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

   National Weather Service 

  • Flood Watch = “Be Aware.”Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
  • Flood Warning = "Take Action!"  Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

   Flood Insurance

  • FEMA offers resources for you to view official flood maps and better understand your flood risk, visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center
  • Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. It is important to have adequate protection. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)is available to property owners to financially protect themselves.
  • Determine if flood insurance is necessary for your property.


If you SEE something, SAY something

Report suspicious activity to local authorities or call 9-1-1. Provide as much detail in your descriptions as possible, including but not limited to:

  • Who or what you saw
  • When you saw it
  • Where it occurred
  • Why it's suspicious


If you’re unsure if activity is “suspicious”, please remember to focus on the actual behavior. Factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation alone are not suspicious. We are committed to ensuring that the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of our citizens are preserved.

Ways to report:

Active Shooter 

Active shooter incidents can occur anywhere at any time. If you are faced with an active shooter scenario, the best thing to do is remain calm so that you can think clearly and determine the best reasonable option to save your life and the lives of others.

When you encounter and active shooter, choose to Run, Hide, or Fight.

  1. Run – 1st option
    • If there is an accessible escape path, exit quickly and safely. Do this whether others choose to follow or not
    • Help others evacuate if possible, do not attempt to move the wounded
    • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the incident is occurring
    • Provide information to law enforcement once in a safe location
  2. Hide – 2nd option
    • Find a location where you are not likely to be found
    • The location should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection from shots fired by the shooter
    • If you are in a room, lock and barricade the door.
    • If the shooter is nearby, stay as quiet as possible, silence all noise makers, and hide behind large items.
  3. Fight – Last resort
    • Commit to your actions, disrupt or incapacitate the shooter
    • Weaponize any objects you can find
    • Act as aggressively as possible, including yelling, screaming, biting, blinding, etc.


Visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for more information and training on Active Shooter Preparedness


tsunamiChula Vista, as shoreline community, has the potential to be impacted by a tsunami. Although our impact is not a great or as likely as other shoreline communities, we must be prepared should a tsunami occur.

There are two sources for tsunamis, distant source tsunamis and local source tsunamis. A distant source tsunami occurs as a result of an earthquake in another region (most likely off the coasts of Japan, Alaska, Hawaii, and Chile). Distant source tsunamis can range from a few to several hours before reaching our coast. Local source tsunamis happen just off of our coasts of Southern California and arrive much sooner than distant source tsunamis.

A major tsunami-producing earthquake will likely shake the ground strongly for 30 seconds or longer. Get in the habit of counting how long the earthquake shaking lasts. If you are on the coast and count 20 seconds of very strong ground shaking, evacuate as soon as it is safe to do so.

Be Tsunami Ready

  • Know the signs: as a tsunami approaches shorelines, water may recede from the coast, exposing the ocean floor, reefs and fish.
  • Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes, landmarks, and flood areas
  • Follow all evacuation notices/orders
  • If you are at the beach and feel shaking, move inland (2 miles) and to higher elevation (100 ft. above sea level) as soon and as safely as possible
  • Never go to the coast to watch for a tsunami. Tsunamis move faster than a person can run, and incoming traffic can hamper safe and timely evacuations.
  • For mariners:
    • NOAA advises that since tsunami wave activity is imperceptible in the open ocean, vessels should not return to port if they are at sea and a tsunami warning has been issued for the area.
    • Tsunamis can cause rapid changes in water level and unpredictable, dangerous currents in harbors and ports.
    • Boat owners may want to take their vessels out to sea if there is time.
    • You should not stay on your boats moored in harbors. Tsunamis often destroy boats and leave them wrecked above the normal waterline.

Chula Vista Tsunami Hazard and Evacuation Map

View here a map of the possible tsunami flood areas, evacuation routes, and community refuge areas.

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