Thank you to all who attended our Canyon Palms emergency preparedness event on Jan. 24, including the planner, Kristin Maschka, and the speaker, Danny DeSelms, the City’s Emergency Department manager. We are sharing these resources and plan some follow-up work to ensure we prepare as a neighborhood.
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EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS STEPS
- Know your hazards
- Make a plan to stay or to go
- Inform loved ones and neighbors of your plan
- Prep a kit
HAZARDS IN PALM SPRINGS AND THE COACHELLA VALLEY
- We are mostly in low buildings, no skyscrapers, so our hazard is less about collapsing buildings and more about being isolated in the valley for a length of time.
- After a major earthquake, the 10 will likely be impassable both ways until Caltrans inspects the freeway and all the overpasses. We likely will be able to receive emergency supplies by air.
- We saw even in tropical storm Hilary that floodwaters made several roads impassable and isolated us.
- During the isolation our limited police and fire department resources may make it impossible for you to reach or get help from first responders.
- The priority for our city’s resources will be fighting fires and checking if gas lines are broken. We do have the equipment to use home pools for water to fight fire.
- During a catastrophic emergency, 911 may be unavailable. After tropical storm Hilary, 911 went down for three or four days from Banning to Blythe. More recently, thieves looking for scrap metal caused an outage by cutting cable.
- Side note: You can text 911 if that works better.
- If water lines break, some places won’t have water, but we should still have water generally and for fighting fires.
- Breaks in water and gas lines will be more of a problem than restoring electricity.
- In an emergency, listen to AM 1690.
PREP A KIT
- You probably already have the makings of a kit at home. You have food, you have water and beverages. Simply assess what you have and then think about adding to it, making sure you have at least a week of food and water.
- Stocking non-perishable food such as canned goods (and a manual can opener) is most important.
- Keeping a couple cases of bottled water at all times can be sufficient. Canned water is best for storing in cars because it doesn’t deteriorate.
- Try to have a gallon of water per person per day for a week at least.
- Extra medications for a week
- Solar flashlight
- Know how to turn off your gas. And consider a multifunction shut off tool like this one.
For more information on preparing kits, visit https://www.palmspringsca.gov/government/departments/emergency-management/emergency-preparedness
NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS
Get to know your neighbors!
Get to know each other’s capabilities and resources that could be shared in an emergency.
Know who needs extra help in an emergency.
The idea is once you’re OK then you can go check on your neighbors.
We will need to rely on each other during a period of isolation when emergency staff is working on other priorities.
Community Emergency Response Training (CERT)
Next CERT training is April 5-7, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. To reserve a spot, email Danny DeSelms .
Great Shakeout in October 2024
Every year there is a worldwide earthquake preparedness day. This year the Great Shakeout is October 17 at 10:17 am local time.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has information on active shooters, earthquakes, floods and other hazards here.