Letter to the Community: September is National Preparedness Month

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Laguna Beach Emergency Operations Coordinator Brendan Manning. Photo/City of Laguna Beach

September is National Preparedness Month. It serves as a reminder for communities to take necessary steps to ensure they’re ready in case of emergencies. This year’s theme is “Take Control in 1, 2, 3”, focusing on preparing senior adults for disasters. We know that seniors can face greater risks when it comes to extreme weather events and emergencies, especially if they live alone or have disabilities, access, or functional needs.

Communities need to give special consideration to senior adults when planning for an emergency, particularly ensuring alert or warning messages can be received, planning for evacuations, and having backup power in the event of an outage, to name a few. We will host an emergency preparedness event at the Community and Susi-Q Center this month for Laguna Beach Seniors on Monday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m. This will provide an opportunity to discuss the specific risks and considerations for older adults, with tangible steps to prepare for and mitigate an emergency.

Laguna Beach is a spectacularly beautiful place to live and visit. However, the things that make it so beautiful also increase our risk of natural disasters. Around the country, we continue to see the frequency and intensity of natural disasters increase. The recent tragic fire in Maui reminds us of the risks we face in a similar situation. 

Please join us on Tuesday, Sept. 19, for a wildfire town hall meeting at 5 p.m. in City Council Chambers, where we will be discussing fire mitigation, community preparedness, and how the city is prepared to respond to a similar wildfire event.

Also, please stop by our Preparedness Event on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Fire Station 1 (505 Forest Ave) from 9 a.m. – noon, as the fire department, police department, and marine safety department will provide information on how to prepare for an emergency. 

There will also be activities for kids (and adults, too) to learn how to use a fire extinguisher and basic first aid.

The city works tirelessly and invests heavily in prevention and mitigation activities to limit the impact of disasters. However, that responsibility doesn’t stop with the city. We continuously look to our community to ensure they’re ready for any emergency that may affect us. This includes signing up for our emergency alert systems, knowing the risks, having a go-bag ready in case you need to evacuate, having emergency supplies on hand to sustain your family for at least three days, and taking the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training (our next class starts on Sept. 14).

For more information, please visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/emergencymanagement to sign up for emergency alerts, get preparedness tips, and learn more about the CERT program. Together, we can all take steps to prepare for an emergency.

In community spirit,

Brendan Manning, Emergency Operations Coordinator

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