Dare Not To Prepare?


October 7, 2019
Special Meeting with Carol Parks, Los Angeles Emergency Management Department.
 
Background
The Emergency Management Department (EMD) works with City departments, municipalities and an array of community-based organizations to ensure that the City and its residents have the resources and information they need to prepare, respond and recover from emergencies, disasters and significant events. (Visit their website for a wealth of info on preparing for emergencies.)
 
Ms. Parks, a manager with the EMD, pioneered the program Ready Your Los Angeles Neighborhood (RYLAN) to help families and neighborhoods prepare for disaster. 
 
Emergency Check List
Ms. Parks stressed that we all need to be prepared with the following supplies when disaster strikes.  This checklist can be found here.  In addition, each family should have an out of state contact whom family members can call to say their safe and find out what will happen next. While you probably won’t be able to call each other, texting will work.
 
•      Emergency kit in house and car;
•      Go Bag in case of evacuation; placed under the bed in a drawstring bag, tied to your bedpost, will insure it stays in place and is available in case of shaking
•      Water. Most important resource after disaster. Blue Can lasts for 50 years. Need 1 gallon per person per day at a minimum. 
•      Need cash; small bills; coin
•      Medications
•      Eyeglasses
•      Batteries
•      Shoes (sturdy)
•      Flashlight
•      Radio
•      Crank radio
•      Any tools you might need (to turn off gas, e.g.)
 
RYLAN
After a disaster, first hour is the golden hour. First hour you check on your neighbors because emergency responders are busy. Need to know your neighbors.  RYLAN trains neighborhoods to be prepared. It’s free. 200 neighborhoods have gone through it already.  90-minute training. Meet neighbors; learn skills, learn who has a generator e.g.  Goal is for neighborhoods to come together and respond after a disaster; goal is to build relationships. Know places of worship, schools, restaurants, supermarkets, etc.  Need community spirit fostered over time so it’s in place when disaster strikes.  Phone calls will probably not go through, so ham operators are a great resource.  Many in our community are registered and will be valuable in an emergency.
Need 15 to 20 homes to do training. EMD will provide all the materials. It is a video-based learning program. Can test ham radio system as part of training. Can have a drill six months after training with one street or multiple streets.
 
To learn more about the City of Los Angeles Ready Your LA Neighborhood (RYLAN) watch this video.

2)  Neighbors who are interested in learning more about how they can bring RYLAN to their neighborhoods should complete a short questionnaire.
 
EVACUATION TIPS
Officer Ragsdale, a 31-year veteran of the LAPD, stressed that we must not only prepare for the inevitable earthquake, but for the possibility of evacuation due to fire or some other disaster.
 
  • A Go Bag.   The Go Bag usually contains your personal emergency supplies pre-packed in an easy-to-carry solution, usually a sturdy backpack. ... In addition to essential survival supplies you should pack personal items such as medication, maps, keys, spare glasses, copies of documents and other important records.
 
  • Major problem facing residents during a mandatory evacuation are when they are outside of the evacuation zone and are trying to get back into the evacuation zone (e.g.  they were shopping or working). Need a communication tree so you know where to meet if family is scattered. Designated location to meet when you cannot communicate, and you cannot get into the zone. Need a plan.
 
  • Notify LA (sign up here) will text you or a police officer or firefighter will knock on your door or drive through neighborhood with bull horn to notify you of an evacuation.  Evacuation routes are not prescribed.  Given threat, firefighters will decide then and there how to evacuate, which routes to use.  Know your streets!
 
MORE HELPFUL TIPS
  • In order to charge phone without electricity, use solar pack or charged battery packs.
  • Emergency Operations Center will coordinate all agencies. Red Cross a key agency that will work with Emergency Operations Department as well as parks and recs to offer shelters.
  • Search and rescue teams within RYLAN as well as CERT residents.  First responders could take hours, even days, to get to you.  With RYLAN, your skilled neighbors will be able to address minor issues until City teams can show up. This is where ham radio operators come into play. Those ham radio operators will be able to communicate with Emergency Center when phone lines are down. 
  • KFI and KNX am radio stations will have info; EMD works closely with these stations and is present with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  They will keep you informed.