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."
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