Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, hosted a community emergency preparedness event on Saturday ahead of the wildfire season, which she said residents should definitely be prepared for.
The event, held at Centre Point, featured guest speakers from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, American Red Cross, city of Santa Clarita, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, MySafe LA and the California Highway Patrol.
While wildfires might be at the forefront of many Santa Clarita residents’ minds — particularly after a very active fire season last summer when the Route Fire ravaged over 5,200 acres — other emergencies such as earthquakes and floods were also a significant part of the conversation.
“I mean, in this district, you can’t not have an event like this,” said Schiavo. “I represent two valleys surrounded by mountains that burn every year. I’m 10 minutes from the epicenter of the Northridge earthquake … and we’re not just dealing with fires, we’re dealing with floods as well. So we really have to be a community that’s prepared.”
Resources and pieces of information were made available to attendees from each participating organization, including Schiavo’s office.
While different types of disasters require different approaches, almost all of them necessitate having an emergency supply kit — something every participating organization at the event said was crucial in an emergency.
Recommended contents of an emergency kit include non-perishable food and water for three days, a first aid kit, tools and supplies, clothing and bedding, important documents, cash, medications, and pet supplies.
What’s also necessary is an emergency plan — these are different from a response to an emergency. A plan usually requires having contact information for family members, medical providers, local fire departments, local police departments, and insurance providers.
It also normally requires having a plan on where to meet loved ones if separated, who children should go to if you cannot get to them, and escape routes.
“When we talk about disasters, as we know, we can’t predict or prevent Mother Nature from doing a lot of stuff,” said Naomi Goldman, an emergency preparedness educator for the Red Cross. “So what we do have is the ability to prepare.”
Goldman emphasized the importance of having physical maps during an emergency — as there may be a situation where the power is out or local cell towers aren’t working. This can be especially useful in the event of a major earthquake.
“Especially being in such a large population — Santa Clarita, specifically (is) the (third) largest city in L.A. (County) — we have so many people, and we have to make sure that our community is prepared so it’s not chaotic when an emergency strikes,” said Schiavo.
For more information on how to prepare for a fire, visit bit.ly/43PkkIA.
For more information on how to prepare for an earthquake, visit bit.ly/3X4AjAl.
For more information on how to prepare for a flood, visit bit.ly/3CoSR4X.