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September is emergency preparedness month

September is emergency preparedness month

September is National Preparedness Month, promoting family and community emergency planning now and throughout the year. The 2019 theme is Prepared, Not Scared.

The City of Lakewood is offering four free resources to help you prepare:

“Survive for 7” family preparedness workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Youth Center. The free workshop teaches the basics of preparing for emergency situations, including the skills families may need to survive in the first week following a catastrophe. Sign up at (562) 866-9771, extension 2408 or online at www.lakewoodcity.org/eCatalog, using activity number 15014.

The statewide “Great California ShakeOut!” exercise follows on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. The annual drill helps raise public awareness about earthquake dangers and is a great reminder to check your preparedness plans, kits and supplies. Many businesses and schools participate in the drill. At the assigned time, employees and students “Drop, Cover and Hold On.”

Lakewood’s 2nd Annual Emergency Fair takes place on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Burns Community Center. Gather information, see various presentations on tips, ideas and best practices concerning emergencies that you can use at home and work. Representatives from the City of Lakewood, American Red Cross and Los Angeles County will be there.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, led by FEMA-certified instructors, is for residents wanting advanced disaster-prep training. This free, in-depth 21-hour program is part of the countywide effort. Sign up at 562-866-9771, extension 2408 or www.lakewoodcity.org/eCatalog using activity number 14762. The next course runs Friday through Sunday, Jan. 24-26 at the Weingart Senior Center. It meets Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Easy steps you can take now

Prepare now for disaster cost

  • Review your insurance coverage. Most homeowner and renter insurance does not cover flood or earthquake damage.
  • Snap photos of important documents and personal belongings so you can quickly file an insurance claim.
  • Include kids in your preparations about saving for an emergency.
  • Keep cash on hand; depending on the type of emergency, credit cards and electronic payment services may not be operating.

Develop an emergency plan

  • Sign up for Alert-LA https://www.lacounty.gov/emergency/alert-la
  • Know your city evacuation zones.
  • Pick a meeting zone for you and your family.
  • Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in your home.
  • Have multiple first-aid and preparedness kits to allow you and your loved ones to survive a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Practice evacuating your home with the entire family, including pets.

Prepare your kids

  • Teach children what to do in an emergency if they are home alone or away from home. Set up meeting locations at a city or school evacuation zone.
  • Be sure each child’s phone has saved emergency contacts.
  • Update school records and emergency contact information.
  • Know your child’s school emergency plans for students and parents.
  • Review children’s medication supplies in first aid kit.
  • Role play an evacuation with your children.
  • Get your kids involved in building their own emergency kit and show them how to use supplies.

Get involved in your community preparedness

  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trains volunteers for types of disasters their community may face. Find your next CERT class in the city’s recreation catalog.
  • Learn about hazards most likely to affect your community and their appropriate response by attending Lakewood’s Survive for 7 class.
  • Check out local volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross at https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/disaster-volunteer.html.
  • Find out which of your neighbors require physical assistance to evacuate.
  • Know your neighbors and create community preparedness plans.

For more information, or for emergency preparedness materials to help get your home and family ready, visit www.ready.gov/earthquake.