By Robert Krysak
On May 16, 2011, from 2-4 p.m. in the Ramona Library there will be a disaster preparedness forum conducted by the Ramona Sheriff’s Department. The purpose of the forum is to coordinate disaster preparedness and evacuation plans throughout the community, ensuring that there is one coordinated and disseminated disaster plan for our town.
A major component of the disaster preparedness plan in its present configuration is the singular focus on evacuation. Those of us who lived through the Witch Creek Fire know how well Ramona evacuates on the four routes out of town for the 40,000-50,000 residents.
The experiences Ramonans endured with disaster evacuation have led many residents to decide that in the next disaster, they will not evacuate. If this is indeed the intent of the majority of Ramona residents, then any disaster plan needs to anticipate this inevitability and plan accordingly, such as the sprinkling of evacuation location facilities for man and animals throughout the area, including possibly the Wellfield Park, the San Vicente Golf Course, the Mt. Woodson Golf Course, the schools, the Ramona Airport and even Golden Eagle Ranch.
However, until the “powers that be” have been presented clear and convincing evidence that the majority of Ramona residents will not evacuate in the next fire or disaster, they will continue to plan for full-scale evacuation with all of its attendant inherent difficulties and dangers.
The mission of the Committee For A Better Ramona (CFBR) is to bring Ramona’s voice to issues which affect our town. This is most certainly a critical issue which requires the voice of the people to be loud and definitive.
CFBR has no preconceived notions, but limited feedback to date has indicated that approximately 70 percent of residents will not evacuate in the next fire or disaster. We want to exponentially increase the number of residents registering their opinion so that we can attend the forum armed with this information, pro or con, and present it to the officials gathered in the room to accomplish the task of preparing for Ramona’s next disaster. With large numbers of residents expressing their opinion we can ensure that the policymakers take note, listen and plan accordingly.
Please visit BetterRamona.net and vote in our Disaster Preparedness poll. It might be a matter of life and death. Furthermore, you can provide direct input regarding this matter at RamonaEvacuationForum@SDSheriff.org.
While voting on the Disaster Preparedness poll at BetterRamona.net, vote on our other polling questions and register on the site to receive information regarding future polls. The CFBR has no agenda but to create a consolidated voice for Ramona residents, whatever their position on any issue, and speak with that voice to the people deciding our future and our town’s future. Only in this way can you ensure input into your and your family’s future in this great town of Ramona. Join the chorus of Ramona’s voice. Register at BetterRamona.net today.
Robert Krysak is president of the Committee for a Better Ramona.