Official Urges Residents to Prepare for Major Natural Disaster Now Because When It Strikes, City Will Be Overwhelmed

Published : Thursday, June 7, 2018 | 5:24 AM

Pasadena’s Emergency Management Coordinator told local service club members Wednesday afternoon to make preparations for themselves and their families for a major natural disaster now because when the disaster strikes the City may be overwhelmed for days, and even some first responders may be sidelined.

“Please get your emergency preparedness kits together because I’m here to tell you the City has nothing for you. We have no extra food, no extra water for you, and it all comes down to who you see in the mirror as far as getting prepared,” Lisa Derderian told members of the Rotary Club of Pasadena.

Derderian serves a dual role at City Hall; she is also the City’s Acting Pasadena Public Information Officer.

Derderian said the recent world and regional parade of overwhelming volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, mud and debris flows, and massive wildfires are all reminders of what can happen without a moment’s notice.

“People get very complacent,” said Derderian. “It’s just a matter of time before we have our large disaster here. “

What the City does have is an online resource on its website under the “disaster preparedness” tab which details how to assemble emergency kits as well as safety tips and reminders that apply to everyone in the event of a natural disaster.

“It’s a very important resource not just for knowing what to put in your kits, but also to sign up for emergency notification because we want that redundancy in place if something happens we have a notification system that will call if you opt-in,” explained Derderian.

“We want you to have communications plans in place in addition to emergency kits.”

Derderian spoke to the points of emergency preparedness by assembling safety kits, stockpiling food with long shelf life, stashing low denominations of cash, and more.

Resource options for emergency preparedness are The American Red Cross, Office of Emergency Services, FEMA, and more, she said.

“They all have great information to download,” said Derderian.

Derderian said not all major emergencies are caused by Mother Nature.

“These plans all come into place. If there’s an active shooter, you may be in a classroom or office environment for several hours. So it’s another need to reinforce having extra supplies because you might not be able to leave for quite a while,” said Derderian.

The upcoming summer months raise seasonal concerns for the Pasadena Fire Dept., which is gearing up for the hot fire season and is already receiving calls about fireworks.

“That is always a big issue in the City,” said Derderian.

Derderian also recommends parents ask questions and get involved with informing their children about emergency plans.

“It’s a good opportunity to put kits together, ask questions at camps, and at the schools about their preparedness efforts, too,” said Derderian.

It’s never too late to get prepared and Derderian leaves residents with one main piece of advice.

“Don’t be complacent. If it’s not tangible and you don’t see it, feel it, or hear it every day you tend to avoid it until something happens and you wonder why you weren’t prepared,” she said. “Don’t wait because the City does not have any supplies for residents.”

For more information about emergency preparedness in the City of Pasadena, go to http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/disaster.

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