LA County Sheriffs, LA County Fire, CERT, FEMA, the LA Office of Emergency Services, and others welcomed the entire region to join in an Emergency Preparedness Expo Saturday.
The event, held at in neighboring La Crescenta informed and educated the public on safety measures and preparing for the imminent natural disasters that make living in sun-soaked California so interesting.
CV Firesafe Council president Roger Young, event organizer and emcee, introduced presenters and addressed the assembled crowd.
"The paradigm shift we hope for today is a renewed responsibility for each of us...to learn and prepare to give aid to the community, our loved ones and neighbors during times of crisis. We assume the firemen and rescue teams will always be there, but when the big one happens, they will be busy," Young said.
Young carefully emphasized the word "busy" as though it were spoken in capital letters.
Event participants and sponsors included CERT, The American Red Cross, FEMA, Edison, State Farm Insurance and others.
The crowd in attendance was treated to an array of vendor and sponsor booths, distributing both informational brochures, chats and goods, including fire extinguisher recharges at a discounted rate, and complimentary rides on the Yogi Bear "Shakey Quakey" earthquake simulator bus. Raffles held during the event also awarded winners with preparedness items.
Paul Dutton, CERT coordinator spoke charismatically, urging everyone to be ready for the worst to happen when we least expect.
"We have bobcats, bears and windstorms...OH MY! But, are you ready for the Big One?," Mr Dutton asked his audience.
"Back east, they have some idea when trouble is on the way, but here we don't know jack."
Dutton continued, suggesting critical points of awareness: designing a family disaster plan, the importance of keeping an out of state contact for times of crisis, and even a tour of his three emergency kits, which he keeps diligently at work, in his car, and at home, at all times. His inventory includes clothes, a radio, ready-to-eat meals, water, flashlights and other indispensable items for getting through trying times.
Other presenters included Captain Zermino of La Crescenta's Fire Station 63, Doug Givens of the United States Geological Survey, and others.
Givens, a La Crescenta resident, offered an articulate admonition as he explained the inevitable approach of massive earthquakes along California's fault lines.
"The big one will come, and the difference between a disaster and a catastrophe will be whether or not you are prepared."
Visit these sites for more information on emergency preparedness education in the community: