SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY – The devastation and frustration caused by superstorm Sandy are sobering images of what happens in a major emergency but they serve as a powerful wake up call to those who think it can't happen here on the Central Coast.
"Its not going to take a humongous event to impact our lifestyle here in California, including here on the Central Coast", says Ron Alsop who runs San Luis Obispo County's Emergency Services Department.
He says Central Coast residents should not only be ready for a Sandy-like scenario but also be prepared to heed evacuation orders if they come down.
"Only takes one time for something serious to happen", Alsop says, "when we consider evacuation orders, any of the public agencies involved in that, that's a serious consideration and we know we are impacting people's lives, so its not something we do lightly, so when an evacuation order comes out its something that has some thought behind it and there is a reason for it."
Alsop says there are five must-haves in the event of an extended power outage:
Family emergency plan
Alsop says try to keep the gas tank as full as possible because power outages mean there's no gas as well.
"Be ready to be on your own for three to five days", Alsop says, "as we can see with this disaster with Sandy, that's a huge impact, a lot of folks are going to be on their own for more than 3 to 5 days."
"We really do need to be prepared, in our case there are a number of factors that could affect us, regular grid outage, earthquakes, large fires", Alsop says, "there's a number of things that we can see similar results as what they are having to deal with Sandy."
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