In early August, all Westside Village homes received a special Homeowners Association newsletter devoted entirely to disaster readiness. To further promote the Preparedness Fair, a mass email campaign and creative yard signs drew the eyes of Westside Village residents and non-residents alike. When the night of the event arrived, approximately 140 neighbors filled the hall.
On that night, both before and after the main program, attendees drifted past tables staffed by disaster preparedness vendors including SOS Survival Products of Van Nuys, Safe N Ready of Pasadena, and a Culver City military surplus store simply called The Surplus Store. The Department of Water & Power set up a downed power line display which was a real crowd pleaser! Additional public agency participation included the L.A. County Department of Public Health, the L.A. Emergency Management Department, and CERT/NTP (Community Emergency Response Team/Neighborhood Team Program) under the auspices of the LA Fire Department.
Program speakers included individuals from varying backgrounds with common ties to disaster preparedness.
- David Graue, co-captain of the Westside Village Neighborhood Watch, encouraged residents to join Nextdoor.com as an additional way to connect and communicate with neighbors in times of disaster and otherwise.
- John Darnell, field deputy for Councilmember Paul Koretz, spoke of the importance of disaster preparedness in the community. John is an active CERT member whose duties for the Councilmember include disaster preparedness issues.
- CERT Battalion 18 Coordinator Larry Bogatz explained the Community Emergency Response Team training program and its importance, and encouraged participation. He also presented the Neighborhood Team Program which allows residents—CERT trained and not—to work together on teams at the local level. Several veteran members of CERT/NTP joined Larry at the event sporting their CERT colors and gear. By the conclusion of the evening, at least 30 attendees signed up to learn more about CERT training, and more indicated interest in the Neighborhood Team Program.
- The final speaker, Keith Harrison from the City’s Emergency Management Department, presented the “5 Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness Plan” that is aggressively rolling out around the city. Many attendees also signed up to participate in Westside Village’s disaster preparedness efforts.
To follow up on the Preparedness Fair, the Westside Village Homeowners Association Board is planning the next phase of disaster readiness for our community. Keith Harrison will be back to help us kick off Westside Village’s “5 Step to Neighborhood Preparedness Plan”. To learn how to organize a preparedness team on your block, join us on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 from 7:00-8:30p.m. at the Palms-Rancho Branch of the LA City Library, at National Blvd. and Overland Ave. (Free parking.) Seating is limited. RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
When disaster strikes, our first responders such as police, firefighters, and ambulances will be overwhelmed and we’ll need to rely on ourselves and our neighbors. PLEASE COME!
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We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization was founded in 1961. Our annual membership dues are nominal and help support a dedicated group of volunteers who give members a wide range of benefits including preservation & improvement of property values, participation in government and developer meetings, public improvements, contact with elected officials and government agencies, promotion of health and safety measures, Neighborhood Watch programs, publication and distribution of the WVHA newsletters and planning of the Westside Village Fall Festival.