Not everyone makes disaster preparedness a priority, but according to the Long Beach Fire Department, they should.
“It is important for people to be prepared for emergencies because it can be the difference between life and death,” Ana Jimenez, LBFD community services coordinator, said. “In addition, in a significant disaster, people are going to have to rely on themselves and each other, sometimes for days if not weeks, before emergency personnel may be able to get to them. Having some knowledge and resources at their disposal can help them survive,” she said.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Fire Department's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program will host its annual READY Long Beach Community Preparedness Expo to help convey that knowledge. There will be hands-on, interactive demonstrations and more.
Launched in 2014, READY Long Beach is a citywide outreach effort promoting emergency preparedness and readiness. Sanctioned by the city of Long Beach and partnered with city agencies such as the Long Beach Police Department and the Disaster Preparedness Department, the initiative seeks to promote a whole community approach to emergency preparedness and readiness, and to raise money for Long Beach CERT.
According to Jimenez, the most challenging part about disaster preparedness is getting people to think about the concept and make it a priority.
“Once people make it a priority, they realize how easy it can be and how taking small actions can make a big difference,” she said.
At the expo, attendees can gain access to resources and learn life-saving tips at the fire safety demonstrations.
“Fire safety demonstrations are part of the presentation by our Fire Ambassadors and their Fire Safety House," Jimenez said. "This is a trailer that resembles a room in a house that gets filled with ‘smoke' to teach kids and adults what to do in case of a fire. We also demonstrate how CERT members learn how to put out small fires with fire extinguishers as part of the training offered.”
Other highlights include emergency vehicle displays, information, vendor booths, emergency supplies and equipment, life-saving tips, food, music, kids rides and prizes.
Attendees will have the opportunity to see Mobile Command units for the Fire and Police departments, a Disaster Assessment Vehicle from the city’s Development Services Department, the Mobile Adoption Unit from Animal Care Services, the Environmental Health Command Post and the Hazmat response vehicle. Nonprofits will be on hand as well, such as the American Red Cross with its Emergency Response vehicle..
The fifth annual READY Long Beach Expo will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Long Beach State University's Walter Pyramid, 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd. Admission is free, and complimentary parking is available in parking structure number one.
Monetary and in-kind donations are welcomed. Proceeds will go to increasing the safety of the community by paying for outreach, training and supplies. The money stays in Long Beach, organizers said.
For more information, go to www.readylongbeach.org.