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February 8, 2011 > Emergency preparedness

Emergency preparedness

By Abraham Cruz

The City of Milpitas' Emergency Preparedness Commission is working diligently to help residents and visitors survive the aftermath of any disaster that might occur. Regular disaster drills, awareness of public safety and emergency issues "train" participants to react appropriately when a catastrophe strikes.

EPC Strategic Planning
School disaster drills are held quarterly and rotate throughout Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD). Drills consist of mock emergency situations, such as fires, earthquakes, excessive heat and related temperature emergencies and power failure. The next disaster drill is scheduled for April 6, 2011 at Randall Elementary School. The EPC events calendar is available on the city's website www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov to schedule and view all meetings or events.

Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD)
A new Care and Shelter container has been established at Milpitas High School to provide shelter and assistance for citizens in emergency situations (such as earthquakes, fire, etc.) The Red Cross is reallocating supplies, as they can only be delivered through the school, not to the city. Emergency supplies consist of water, food, medicine, basic sanitary facilities and board games for children. While the school provided the location, the City of Milpitas has paid for the cache and supplies. The other shelter is located at the Milpitas Sports Complex on East Calaveras Boulevard.

Public Education and Community Outreach
The Professional Volunteer Database consists of members of the community who have volunteered their services (medical/fire/police) for emergency situations. The Professional Volunteer Database and Form are still being developed and will be discussed at the next Emergence Preparedness Commission meeting. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Rosana Cacao at (408) 586-3207.

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month. Pamphlets for the Randall Elementary School disaster drill will be distributed. A possible scenario for future disaster drills is the removal of students by their parents from the school campus without following proper sign-out procedures. Emergency response personnel, elected officials and city staff will be on hand to assist with the drill and distribute food. Since younger students require more supervision than older students, it was suggested that the Randall Elementary PTA may be contacted to assist with the drill.

The Public Education Team's primary focus is to educate the community by distributing information about public safety. Most are unprepared for an emergency or disaster which underscores the importance of the Public Education Team's efforts.

Current Training
Faith based/community-based organizations meet monthly basis and focus on different services, such as preparation of a 72-hour emergency kit preparation and the importance of basic safety skills, e.g. extinguishing small fires and administering medical attention. The Office of Emergency Services (OES) offers services useful for emergency awareness and preparedness - free CPR courses; hosting a day-time event featuring safety demonstrations; conducting door-to-door informational instruction (such as how to turn off gas valves).

The next Emergency Preparedness Commission meeting will be on Thursday, March 17, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Committee Conference Room, Milpitas City Hall.

For more information, visit www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov or contact Sean Simonson, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at (408) 586-2810.

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