Letter to Editor re: Sierra Madre CERT Continues to Urge Residents to Prepare

Posted 12/7/11 – In light of the recent wind storm, many of us now realize how very vulnerable we all are in our usually calm Sierra Madre. Trees came down causing structural damage and a full electrical outage for up to 5 days in some areas. Residents were diligent about taking their kids and elderly parents to family or friends’ houses.  The City of Sierra Madre, the Sierra Madre Police Department and the Sierra Madre Volunteer Fire Department did an extraordinary job ensuring all residents were safe, the streets cleared as soon as possible and provided continual updates and information to residents.  Southern California Edison crews worked around the clock to restore service within an incredibly short amount of time given the amount of damage. �

Luckily, it wasn’t “The Big One” where we could lose water, gas, electricity, telephones (including cell phones) and could be weeks without help!

With that being said, the Sierra Madre Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) would like to continue to encourage residents to prepare for a large-scale natural disaster.  The level of personal preparedness will determine the quality of life for families in the event of an emergency.  Just a few simple steps can dramatically reduce the dependence on emergency services in the event of a disaster:

-Water: one gallon per person per day for three weeks
-Food: at least a three week supply of non-perishable food, plus a can opener
-Extra water and food for pets
-Prescription medications
-Blankets, clothing and sturdy shoes for each family member
-Baby items, such as extra formula and diapers
-Special items for seniors or people with disabilities (generators with enough fuel to run heat and medical equipment for at least one week. 5 gallons per day for 7 days = 35 gallons of fuel)
-Small hygiene kits, including toothbrush and toothpaste
-List of allergies to any drug or food (especially antibiotics)
-Battery powered or hand-crank radio
-Flashlights and extra batteries
-First aid kit
-Whistle to signal for help
-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
-Pocket knife
-Emergency cash in small denominations; quarters for public pay phones
-Paper cups, paper plates, plastic utensils and paper towels
-Copies of important documents such as birth certificates, insurance policies, passports, etc.
-Photos of family members and pets for identification purposes
-List of emergency point-of-contact phone numbers (out of state preferable)
-Extra keys to your house
-Extra toilet paper, shovel for digging a latrine  Sierra Madre is also equipped with its own radio station at 1630 am to provide continual updates in the event of an emergency. 

Remember:  Don’t become a victim!  Be empowered!  Be prepared!”

Best Regards,
Melanie Shewmaker
Sierra Madre CERT