Water and Food
After returning home, boil your water or use bottled water for drinking or food preparation. During a fire, water may come in contact with debris and contaminated water supplies. Do not discontinue purifying water until your water purveyor has informed you that it is safe.
To disinfect water, boil it for one minute and cool before use. Boiling will eliminate any bacteria that may be in the water.
If you do not have gas or electricity available:
· Add 8 drops (1/4 teaspoon) of unscented household bleach per gallon of clear water or add 16 drops (1/2 teaspoon) of unscented household bleach per gallon of cloudy water.
· Mix thoroughly and let sit for 30 minutes before using.
· A chlorine taste will result and indicates the water has been effectively disinfected.
· To reduce this taste, pour water back and forth between two containers several times.
If you have your own well, have a sample of the water taken to ensure there are no bacteria present. For water sampling kits as well as a list of certified laboratories, contact your water purveyor or the Department of Environmental Health, Land and Water Quality Division.
San Diego Office
Address: 5201 Ruffin Road, Suite C.
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 565-5173
After returning home, it is vitally important to check all remaining food before consuming. Many items may have been damaged or have come in contact with fire or debris.
Throw out all foods:
- exposed to debris, smoke, water, chemicals or damage due to fire. Chemicals used to fight fires contain toxic materials that cannot be washed off of foods.
- that require refrigeration and may have heated up, including all meats, seafood, eggs and milk, and thawed items that have been kept above 40 degrees for more than two hours. For more information on which items to throw out and which items are safe to keep click here.
- with heat or pressure damage as certain bacteria that cause food to spoil are activated at high temperatures.
- exposed to burning materials as they have been exposed to fumes.
Check and throw out canned goods with:
- dented side panels or lids
- bulging at seams, lid, or sides
- separation at lid surface or body seam
Address: Po Box 129261, San Diego, CA 92112
Phone: (619) 338-2222
During wildfire disasters, families affected by wildfires may also be eligible for a one-time assistance program issuing disaster food stamps. Residents who are not usually eligible for food stamps may qualify if they have disaster-related expenses. Residents may apply at Local Assistance Centers or Family Resource Centers. To find out if disaster food stamps are available and for eligibility guidelines, contact Public Assistance Information, toll free at (866) 262-9881.