Fires, Floods, Earthquakes! Oh My! – Safety Fair Helped Families Prepare for the Realities of Living in Los Angeles
During the past two months, we have seen one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded hit Japan followed by a devastating tsunami, most of Western Texas impacted by wildfires, the largest number of tornados on history passed through the Midwest and South causing massive destruction, and immense flooding along the entire stretch of the Mississippi River that has destroyed entire towns and ruined huge swaths of farmland.
The one thing that all of these natural disasters have shown is that the more prepared you are the better chance you and your family have of not only surviving the disaster itself, but also the days and months afterward.
“Being prepared for a disaster is very important to Lanterman,” explains Maureen Wilson, director of Training and Development. “In light of all of the recent natural disasters and with the threat of a terrorist attack made more real by the discovery of papers in Osama bin Laden’s compound specifically mentioning Los Angeles, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for a natural or manmade disaster.”
Hosted by Lanterman Regional Center’s Early Intervention Unit and Koch-Young Resource Center, the Center’s first ever Child and Family Safety Fair for families with children birth to 5 brought a great collection of private organizations and local government agencies together to help the Lanterman community get prepared. Special thanks to all of the participating organizations:
- American Red Cross; www.redcross.org
- Citizen’s Voice – Safely Out; www.citizenvoice.org/safely_out/index.html
- Feeling Safe, Being Safe; www.dds.ca.gov/consumercorner/EmergencyPreparedness.cfm
- First 5 LA; www.first5la.org
- Get Safe; www.getsafeusa.com
- Kedren Mental Health Center; www.kedrenmentalhealth.com
- Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/lead/
- Poisoning Prevention Program Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ivpp/injury_topics/Poisoning/poisoninghome.htm
- Injury Violence and Prevention Program Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ivpp/
- Los Angeles Fire Department; http://lafd.org/
- New York Life Insurance – Child ID; www.newyorklife.com
- Pathways; www.pathwaysla.org
- Project Prepare; www.lanterman.org
- SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A.; www.carseat.org
- SNAP Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management; http://snap.lacounty.gov
- 211 – Los Angeles County; www.211la.org
- Metro; www.metro.net
- City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT); http://ladot.lacity.org/
In addition to information on disaster preparedness, fairgoers received information on child passenger seat safety, personal safety, injury prevention, pedestrian safety, fire and burn safety, bike safety, poison prevention, and handling emergencies.
They also received Safely Out Kits that were provided through a California Emergency Management Agency grant through Citizen’s Voice who employed individuals with developmental disabilities to assemble the kits. And New York Life Insurance provided on-site child ID, which included taking the child’s photo, digitally-scanning fingerprints, and collecting emergency contact information to include on the ID. The ID is designed to be distributed to members of the family and placed in a wallet and in an easy to find place in your home to be used should your child go missing.
Children in attendance were also treated to a show from the American Red Cross Muppets and a drawing was held every half hour for safety and preparedness items.
So even if you weren’t able to attend the safety fair, it’s never too late to prepare yourself and your family to live more safely on a daily basis, but also for unplanned natural and man-made disasters. Check out the various organizations’ Web sites listed above for additional preparedness information.