October 2007 unleashed a series of fires (Harris, Rice, Witch Creek, Poomacha, etc.) that impacted our entire county.
Hundreds of thousands of residents were notified of evacuations via a computerized Reverse 911 phone call. I have vivid recollection of waking from sleep to a call on my cell phone, a friend asking if I was evacuating. Although our area received no Reverse 911 phone call, many in Valley Center did. For some brief unsettling moments I opened curtains looking east and saw darkened, smoke-filled sky, with ash falling. The previous night I was helping at the VC High School evacuation center. I left at 2 a.m. and fire was nowhere close to Valley Center. How quickly things changed.
Reverse 911 is a communications system used by public safety to communicate with groups of people in defined geographic areas. The system uses a “database” of telephone numbers and associated addresses, to deliver recorded emergency notifications. This is a tremendous asset for public safety. If you have a landline then you are automatically in the database. You don’t solicit the call; it comes automatically, at a critical time.
Many have dropped landlines in their homes and are only on cell phones. In these scenarios what do you do? The solution is “Alert San Diego,” where you register your cell phone number with home address. If you have not registered, then I greatly encourage you to do so at www.readvsandiego.org/alertsandiego. There is no cost, but you need to make a decision to do so … it just makes sense!
An evacuation and disaster plan for your family is another step of preparedness. In May 2015, multiple fires again coursed through San Diego. These fires were west of Valley Center, in predominantly urban areas, and occurred in a month not considered fire season. This reveals a profound truth — fire season in San Diego County is year round, and no area is immune. During these fires our family tested our evacuation plan. Although we “assumed” we were prepared, there were gaps in our plan. Are you prepared?
The reality is not “IF” fires, or other events, will impact our lives, but “WHEN.” Although unsettling, it should motivate us to take necessary steps to be prepared. There are no guarantees, but the potential impact can be greatly reduced. Yet many, for whatever reasons, have not prepared.
As a Pastor this leads me to ask sincere and heartfelt questions. Are you prepared for The Greatest Events quickly approaching on the Horizon? Are you prepared for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? Are you prepared for Eternal Life? Statistically we know that one out of one people will die, no one is exempt. And Biblically we know without doubt that Jesus is coming again. We don’t know the day or the hour, but are to discern the signs of the times, which indicate that He could very well return soon. If Jesus returned today, are you prepared? If your life ended today are you prepared?
God has His own database known as “The Book of Life,” to affirm if you made preparation in this life, for the eternal life to come. Anyone can be entered in this book, but it is your choice. It requires not an entry of phone number, but a decision of the heart. This is without doubt the most important decision in your life. The decision to believe that Jesus
Christ died on the cross for your sins, and that He rose again the third day. The decision to put your faith in Him, that you will receive by grace the gift of Eternal Life. This is God’s perfect plan guaranteed to “evacuate” and “save” us to a much better place. This is good news … there is no other viable evacuation plan from this earth. Have you prepared?
On Sunday March 6 at 3:30 p.m., I would like to graciously invite you to join us for the “Harvest America” live telecast event with Greg Laurie. Tens of thousands of people across the U.S. will be tuning in. This will be a Message of Hope, and Invitation on how to make sure your name is in the “Book of Life.” There will be a great barbecue, great music and a Great Message. Go to our Web site below for details … hope you can join us!
(John Luna is lead pastor at Horizon Christian Fellowship, an affiliate of Calvary Chapel, and would love to welcome you to their 10 a.m. Sunday service. Go to www.horizonvalleycenter.org for more information or email John at firstname.lastname@example.org)