Local issues like traffic, crowded beaches and parties at summer rentals often are the focus of resident complaints as summer gets under way. But another issue lurks behind the scenes year-round: resident readiness for emergencies. There’s no question that every single resident should make sure they are ready to hit the road if a fire, earthquake, landslide, high tide flooding, gas leak or other emergency occurs in Laguna Beach.
This Oct. 27 will be the 25thanniversary of the devastating 1993 fire that destroyed hundreds of homes and briefly threatened downtown and beyond. Those who lived here in 1993 will never forget and many of us have had go-bags and family emergency plans ever since. There are procrastinators who never quite get to that item on their to-do lists. And newer residents may be unaware of what happened a generation ago, much less the dangers we face in a coastal town with just two roads in and out.
To raise awareness, the Laguna Beach Community Emergency Response Team and city emergency operations director last month launched Prepare Laguna Beach, asking residents to pledge to prepare for emergencies. The City Council supports the effort that began May 1 to make the town the most prepared in the county. It only takes about a minute to pledge online at lagunabeachcity.net/getprepared.
No one will call or ask for donations or keep your name in a database. You only are required to enter your street name and the closest cross-street, then click on two buttons that say you agree to have a family/household plan and to create or buy a 72-hour emergency kit. Click ‘ok’ and you are done!
Your pledge to be more prepared will be counted onlyfor the purpose of counting the total number of signers. Our goal is to get 2,800 households to sign the pledge.
We hope you will embrace this effort with residents in every age group ready to “get outta Dodge” when the situation arises.
There is no political agenda, just a big motivation to make sure residents know how to stay safe and know when it’s time to go. Please be among them.
You’ll find CERT members at pop-up booths this summer, who will help you sign up on the spot, give you a preparedness item for your kit and send you off with thanks and good wishes!
Sandi Cain, Laguna Beach
The author is the CERT outreach chief.