DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - September 5, 2008

Quake cottage to shake up fair

Event will help families prepare for any and all emergencies

by Geoff Gillette

Police and fire officials are gearing up, along with paramedics and other first responders. Not to respond to a crisis, but to help residents learn to prepare and deal with crises, at the third annual San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair next Saturday, Sept. 13.

"This is a good way to get the community along the way to becoming a disaster resistant community," said Greg Gilbert, Emergency Services Manager for the Town of Danville.

He explained that it is nearly impossible to "disaster proof" a community, but if residents can be educated to have themselves as prepared as possible for those eventualities it will allow emergency services officials to concentrate on the areas of greatest concern.

"Government can only do so much," Gilbert said. "We have a finite pool of resources and we need the public to be part of it. If people become educated on how to deal with this they're prepared, we're prepared, and there's less people we have to deal with during an emergency. Instead of needing help those people can become a resource for us."

The idea is to learn to mitigate possible dangers, make plans and begin storing supplies and equipment.

How do you get prepared? What do you store, and how do you decide what should be set aside for an emergency? All those questions can be answered at the Emergency Preparedness Fair.

The fair will run from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 655 Old Orchard Road, the parking lot near the church and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District offices.

Gilbert said classes will be held on earthquake preparedness, stranger danger, and use of Automatic External Defribillators, which are machines stationed in many town offices to assist in reviving a person suffering from a heart attack.

Fire trucks, ambulances, even the Danville Police Department's new community service vehicle will be on display. The Danville police K-9 unit will be putting on a demonstration

Residents are encouraged to bring leashed pets with them, as Animal Services will be providing low cost microchipping and licensing for pets.

While some of the displays are static, Gilbert said there will also be dynamic hands-on demonstrations.

"We have a fire extinguisher station. People will have actual hands-on experience putting out a fire with an actual fire extinguisher," he said as an example.

Attendees will also get to ride out a simulated earthquake in the Quake Cottage.

"It's a portable trailer that simulates a 7.0-8.0 quake," explained Gilbert. "They can get on and experience an earthquake of that size for 30 seconds."

Jokingly, he referred to the cottage as "An E ticket ride."

The fair will have lots of giveaways as well. The first 150 families will get free 72-hour disaster kits, and starting at 10:30 a.m., a free tri-tip lunch will be served.

The fair was started by the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"The LDS church approached the local government bodies and said they wanted to put on something like this and we decided this was an excellent endeavor to educate the people in the San Ramon Valley," Gilbert recalled.

The event doubled in size from the first to the second year. It's sponsored by the church, police and fire departments, San Ramon and Danville, PG&E, EMBUD, American Red Cross, Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center and the Community Emergency Response Team.

This year marks the 140th anniversary of the last large scale eruption of the Hayward fault. Gilbert said emergency services officials are using that anniversary as a way of calling attention to the possibility of a quake happening and calling on residents to be ready.

"When it happens we want people to have the materials and knowledge to take care of themselves," Gilbert said. "At the fair we want people to talk to experts, attend classes, find out the best things to have in a disaster kit, how often to rotate them, what to keep in. This fair is offering some really unique services that we are really proud to have."

Comments

Posted by Lary Mcgrew, a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm

This Emergency Prep. Fair is a great activity for all valley residents...Im a Scoutmaster of Troop #548, San Ramon...our motto "BE PREPARED". The 4.0 quake 3 miles north, just a few days ago makes this so real !!!

I hope to be there to tell/demonstrate how good your " AUTO " is as an "Emergency Survival Capsule"..Why ?, How ? How long can you live without Food?( about 30 days ) How long without water ? ( about 3 days ), and without AIR ? ( about 3 minutes ).....so what breathing protection do you need/have if your caught in a smoke filled room, or public building, or on the freeway gridlock while a toxic tanker spills its contents or is burning?

Most of our modern cars have an excellent air filter & recirculation system protecting the passenger cabin...sort of like an aircraft. Its key element is a several square foot " high effeciency filter module that will keep out 90 % of the bad contaminants that come with accidents & fires. This combined with a fan motor that can be switched to just recycle the cabin atmosphere, (sealed off from the outside: check your dashboard AC system controls ). I will have a typical auto AC system & filter on display at the fair....

For outside your vehicle, carry a 99 cent paper filter mask ( From Home Depot ) these will block nearly 50 % of the bad stuff in most emergencies. Used extensively by pedestrians in Japan.

If totally caught by surprise, pull off a cotton sock, "T" shirt or hankie, to cover your nose and mouth while you walk away from the breathing hazard.

For an excellent prep level...pick up a "Multi-purpose" contractors breathing safety "Respirator" in the paint department at Home Depot for about $ 35...This one protects against both hazardous airborn particulate and the common toxic vapors. Keep "sanitary" sealed in zip lock bag in your trunk for easy access.

Stop by and chat, see you at the Fair...


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