June 14, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Century City Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Emergency Preparedness Expo at Watt Plaza Thursday, on Century Park East

Century City Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Emergency Preparedness Expo at Watt Plaza Thursday, on Century Park East.
Under the banner ‘Pack, Plan & Practice,’ the free event open to the public, was an opportunity for people to learn about specific safety measures to take in the event of an earthquake, fire, storm or terror attack, and to meet with local LAFD and LAPD officials, as well as representatives from the American Red Cross.
“There are a lot of people living and working here in Century City,” said Susan Bursk, president and CEO of the Century City Chamber of Commerce. “We feel it’s really important for the community to be prepared for any emergency.”
LAPD Senior Lead Officer Mario Gonzales said, “Although we’re law enforcement we try to assist with emergencies. In Century City there are a lot of hi-rise office buildings. We conduct fire drills here, which are really important. We have to make sure that people know how to evacuate in the event of an emergency whether it’s an earthquake or if there’s an active shooter on the premises.”
Field Deputy Philip Bennett from Paul Koretz’s 5th Council District was also at the event to talk to people about how the City is preparing for “all kinds of emergencies. We have plenty of City services,” he said. Those services include the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, the all volunteer program established in 1986 by the Los Angeles Fire Department to complement the City’s response to individual, community and city-wide emergencies including earthquakes, floods, fires, mud slides and epidemics.
The CERT program came about when it became clear that in the event of an earthquake it could be days before police, fire, and medical services could arrive at certain devastated areas, and so locals should be trained to handle emergencies.
Volunteers in the CERT program receive an initial 17.5 hours of instruction over seven weeks from LAFD personnel and there is also the Neighborhood Team Program (NTP), which organizes local neighbors – and teaches a simplified training and response program to run alongside CERT. Volunteer teams of 10-20 people within a 3-5 block radius are led by CERT-trained personnel from the area and taught search and rescue, report and damage assessment techniques, as well as communications and field level medical treatment.
Bennett also handed out fliers urging residents to create basic emergency preparedness kits that should include:
• A one-week supply of food and water for family and pets
• One gallon of water per person per day
• Canned goods, dried fruit, energy bars, nuts and raisins
The City also recommends keeping a hard hat, headlamp, and/or a flashlight next to your bed, along with thick-soled shoes, goggles, a weather-appropriate jacket and a basic first aid kit.
All these things and more were on sale as local vendors were also invited to the event and were doing a brisk trade in the windy courtyard. Joe Mussaw of Respond First Aid Systems and Eduardo Galvan of First Aid Global were at opposite ends of the courtyard, but both were selling everything from first aid kits and emergency supply backpacks to cell phone chargers and flashlights.

Galvan’s one-man emergency backpack sells for $59.99 online (although they also prepare two and three-man packs). Galvan said his company sells between 800 to 1,000 survival backpacks annually, adding, “We’ve seen an increase in business by 60 percent in the last five years.”
Mussaw’s similar backpack for two people costs $80 and includes basic first aid supplies as well as knives, ropes, MREs and even tents that can be folded up and packed neatly away. Mussaw said his company decides what to include in their packs based on recommendations for The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). “That,” he quipped, “and common sense.”
For more information on the
kits head to: socalfirstaid.com and
firstaidglobal.com

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