Survey: Residents say fire biggest hazard |

Survey: Residents say fire biggest hazard

A wildland or house fire is the hazard that concerns most Douglas County residents, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

However, a fifth of the households reported they didn’t have a working fire extinguisher.

Nearly 72.9 percent of responding households reported that fire is the hazard most likely to affect their household.

Only 8.8 percent cited earthquake, while 7.8 percent listed flooding as the primary hazard they face.

The Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response was conducted last spring in the county.

Teams of volunteers went to 190 homes selected randomly to conduct a brief survey May 13-17. Douglas County was only the second jurisdiction in the state to have conducted the assessment.

According to the assessment, 81 percent of Douglas residents felt they were prepared for an emergency, with four out of five having a working fire extinguisher.

Nearly 93 percent reported having a three-day supply of food that won’t go bad while 72.4 percent reported having a three-day supply of drinking water.

What most residents surveyed didn’t have was a designated meeting place either in or outside of their neighborhood.

The surveys were developed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Surveyors selected seven households out of 30 Census blocks resulting in 210 households, of which 190 completed an interview.

More than two-thirds of the surveyed households had at least one pet, which were mostly dogs and cats. Nearly 10 percent owned a large animal, including horses, cattle, sheep or pigs.

Half a percent said they would not evacuate their home because of their pet.

More than three-quarters of residents said that in an emergency they would communicate via cell phone call with texting as an alternative for 7.8 percent of those surveyed.

Slightly more than a quarter said they would receive information in an emergency via cable television, followed by 22 percent receiving information via text.

More than half of those surveyed have heard of Douglas County’s Reverse 911, but only around a fifth were registered.

As a result of the survey, emergency managers will focus on urging residents to designate a meeting spot, use television stations to disseminate emergency alerts, distribute reverse 911 information, and plan for an evacuation by designating alternate routes ahead of time.

The assessment was conducted by the Quad-County Public Health Preaparedness Program, the East Fork Fire Protection District acting as Douglas County Emergency Management, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Emergency Response Team, Douglas County School District and other county officials.