Marin County residents could be without first responders for days in the event of a major disaster, warned a recent grand jury report. The warning was intended to alert residents to be prepared for as much as 72-hours on their own.

The reason for the delay is that the city only has about a third of their first responders on duty at any given time. The other two thirds are at home, and many live hours away. In the event of a major disaster, traveling from places like Kern or Nevada Counties could be challenging and slow.

For instance, only 19% of the county’s sheriff’s deputies live in the county, or 75% of Marin County Fire Department employees live outside of the county.

The solution isn’t easy, as the average home value forces many to forego living in the county, where average last month was $640,000, if you count condos.

From the Marin Independent Journal:

Marin residents will be on their own in the first day or two after a natural disaster because most county public safety workers don’t live here and won’t be able to offer immediate help, the Marin County Civil Grand Jury warned.

In the final report of its term, the grand jury reminded Marin residents that only 33 percent of first responders are on duty at any one time, and that “70 percent to 80 percent of first responders live outside of Marin, some as far away as Kern, Butte, Sutter and Nevada counties.”

It’s a wake-up call for newcomers, but old news for long-time residents who have been told repeatedly by disaster preparedness officials over the years that people must be prepared to go it alone for 72 hours after a natural disaster such as a big earthquake that could paralyze the region at any moment.

Read the full article here.