by Mayor Laurene Weste
You may be surprised to learn that our City has successfully weathered 11 federally-declared disasters over the last 26 years, including fires, floods and the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Each time disaster has struck, our community pulled together and worked together to recover.
One of the key things we learned as a community is the importance of preparation. It’s so easy to put off tasks such as preparing emergency kits for the office, home and car, and organizing water and food supplies for 72 hours for you and your family. Advance preparation should also include securing a first aid kit, tools and supplies like flashlights, pliers, gloves, and even emergency supplies for your pets.
In your home, emergency preparation should include securing heavy furniture to the wall; using safety straps for stereos and computers; using nondrying putty or microcrystalline wax to secure pottery and other small, breakable items on shelves; installing child-proof locks on cupboards with breakable items inside; and supporting ceiling lights and fans with a cable bolted to the ceiling joist.
Our City has a variety of public facilities including libraries, recreation buildings and parks that are used during emergencies. In the summer, our local libraries serve as cooling centers. Our local park facilities have been used by first responders as staging and accommodation areas, as well as fulfilling other needs during major disasters.
If you are a pet owner, you should know that there are also emergency trailers available and ready for evacuation of animals during a major emergency. Our local hospital has spent a great deal of time preparing for emergencies and serves as an important community partner in the response and recovery phases of major disasters.
The experts tell us that it is not a matter of “if” but “when” the next earthquake will strike. Making sure that you and your family are prepared should be a high priority. This month, local experts in emergency response will be on hand to walk you through emergency preparation and response at the Emergency Expo on Saturday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hyatt Valencia. The SCV Emergency Expo is presented by KHTS AM1220 and held in conjunction with the Santa Clarita Home and Garden Show.
As part of the Emergency Expo, the City of Santa Clarita will provide information on “Pet Preparedness - Taking Care of the family.” Also at the City booth, participate in the “Be Ready, Be Resilient” quiz and you'll be automatically entered into a free drawing to win emergency preparedness prizes. For more information about the Emergency Expo and for vendor registration, visit www.scvemergencyexpo.com.
It is important that as a community, we continue to work together to be prepared. Your City wants to help keep you safe, protected and healthy. I would like to encourage you and your family to attend the Emergency Expo and make March your month to get prepared. Thank you for your participation in our community. Please feel free to email me directly with your thoughts and ideas at: firstname.lastname@example.org.