San Rafael, CA – A hurricane hitting Florida. A wildfire in the San Geronimo Valley. A workplace shooting, a flood, an earthquake. Disasters can be created by humans or by Mother Nature, but either way preparation for worst-case scenarios helps build resilience.
Volunteers from Marin Medical Reserve Corps participate in frequent drills to help augment countywide medical responses.
September is Preparedness Month
nationwide, and the Marin County Board of Supervisors plans to pass a resolution in recognition of National Preparedness Month at its September 10 meeting to encourage residents to have a plan for all types of emergencies. The resolution is supported by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services
(OES), the Marin County Fire Department
and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services
This year’s Board resolution sings the praises of the Marin Medical Reserve Corps (MMRC) and the Marin Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). The MMRC augments countywide medical responses to disasters by recruiting, training and deploying volunteer health professionals where they’re needed. CERT trains volunteer residents to assist other neighbors in case first-responders are overwhelmed by disaster and unable to respond. CERT courses are offered throughout the year, providing lessons in first aid, light search and rescue, fire suppression and disaster psychology.
All year long, Marin OES works to promote the Ready Marin campaign mantra – be informed, make a plan, build a kit and get involved. Residents are urged to set aside time to gather survival items, make emergency plans, educate youngsters and discuss the topic with neighbors.
“Recent fires in the wildland urban interface are a reminder that everyone needs to be prepared,” said Christopher Reilly, Marin County Sheriff’s Emergency Manager. “Sign up for emergency alerts, create a plan for you, your family and your pets, and then practice it. We believe good preparation by our residents reduces the demand on first-responders right after something big happens and leads to fewer casualties. It’s the same thing for our own government agencies, nonprofits, schools and other organizations. Building our resistance will end up saving lives.”
Marin OES, based at the Sheriff’s Office at 1600 Los Gamos Drive in San Rafael, provides emergency management services for the county and the surrounding operational area including its 11 cities and towns and more than 300 special districts. OES develops guidelines for emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation to natural disasters, man-made incidents and technological threats. It serves as the liaison between the state and all local government subdivisions.
In the event of a major catastrophe, Marin OES would open its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) if directed by the County emergency management authority. An activated EOC facilitates a coordinated response by all representatives from organizations that are assigned emergency management responsibilities. Many personnel who flock to an activated EOC are everyday workers with a County of Marin department.
Interested in learning more about preparedness? Check www.readymarin.org and www.firesafemarin.org, and register mobile phones and other electronic devices to receive emergency alerts at www.alertmarin.org. Access the CERT course schedule and register for classes by visiting readymarin.com/cert. Follow on Twitter @marinsheriff and @marincountyfire. Sign up for Nixle alerts at www.nixle.com or by texting your ZIP code to 888777.