The first ever Disaster Preparathon event on Catalina Island was held November 5-7, and was a huge success. Sponsored by Catalina Island Medical Center (CIMC), Southern California Edison and an amazing number of community partners, the Preparathon pre-sold 100 low cost survival kits, hosted four Red Cross instructors to teach a comprehensive “Shelter in Place” class, certified 20 people in CPR and taught basic first aid skills to another dozen residents.
A town hall style Q & A meeting on Thursday, November 5, was broadcast live from the City Hall Council chambers via Catalina Broadband’s community channel and livestream online. It featured Avalon Fire Chief Mike Krug, LA County Fire Captain Gary Black, Jim Luttjohan from the Chamber of Commerce, Doug DeCesare from LA County Sheriff’s Department and CERT, Kathy Dollarhide, RN from Dignity Health St Mary Memorial Disaster Resource Center, Janet Seebert, RN, CIMC’S Disaster Preparation Coordinator and representatives from the Red Cross, Southern California Edison and Catalina Humane Society. Each speaker was able to give a short summary of their role in the island’s emergency responses to various disaster scenarios.
Questions were raised about the reverse 911 system, the town siren, tsunami and flood mitigation, the emergency power grid, communications, access to water in an emergency and the resources each household needs for a minimum of 3 days’ survival without power or services. If you missed this presentation, it can be viewed online from the City of Avalon website. Click on City Council videos and select Disaster Preparathon 11/5/15. Or use the link:
Free training classes were offered including Sidewalk CPR near the finish line of Saturday, November 7, Triathlon. People train for sports and competitions, but training for disaster also needs to be everyone’s priority.
Over 100 free Los Angeles County Emergency Survival Guides were distributed. The “Get Ready Go Bags” with provisions for a family of four to live on for three days were pre-sold at Fall Fest at 60 percent off retail price. They sold out quickly. If you didn’t pick up your kit please claim it at CIMC immediately. There are lots of people who would still love to have one. The free Los Angeles County Survival Guide can instruct residents on how to prepare their own kit. Or go to “Get Ready Gear” or other websites online to select an emergency bag that best fits your needs.
CPR and First Aid classes were well attended and filled an important need in the community. The entities involved with protecting Catalina’s residents and its resources (Fire, Sheriff, Harbor, Hospital, City, Edison, etc) study, work and train diligently in “worst case scenarios.” They communicate with each other and meet regularly to stay current on safety, continuing education trends and possible threats to our tranquil island lifestyle.
With El Nino and earthquake predictions in the news, each citizen should do their part to safeguard their own household, home and family in the event of a large scale emergency or natural disaster. If you have questions, go to CIMC’s website www.cimedicalcenter.org.
Call CIMC (310) 510-0700 or come to the hospital lobby to get your free copy of the Emergency Survival guide (while supplies last). The CIMC Disaster Preparathon was a great start but Avalon residents need to keep educating themselves and others. Watch the Preparathon Q & A program online—it’s full of vital information. Assemble emergency supplies for yourself, your pets, your workplace, your vehicle. Make a family plan. Read the newspapers for upcoming articles on additional preparedness training and when it is available. Be Smart. Take Part. PREPARE.
Story and Photo credit: Judy Hibbs