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Topping the News in Lakewood, California

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
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'Survive for 7' evening seminar and CERT 3-day series
First seminar is Tuesday, February 5, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Victims of Hurricane Sandy experienced earthquake-like damage and recovery.

Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states and hit front pages across the country when it slammed into New Jersey and New York last October. Power was out for days. Transportation, food and water supplies were drenched leaving many to fend for themselves.

Sandy’s earthquake-like damage illustrates much of what Southern California will face after the “big one” hits. The city’s 1-evening “Survive for 7” seminar and in-depth 3-day Community Emergency Response Team training are intended to help Lakewood families be better prepared for a major disaster. Register online for either program using eCatalog, or by calling 562-866-9771, extension 2408.

The next free “Survive for 7” disaster prep planning program is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Lakewood Youth Center at Del Valle Park (Woodruff Avenue and Arbor Road). The one-evening program educates residents about emergency preparedness and gives them an overview of the skills needed to survive in the week following a catastrophe. Learn more at The program is offered again in early May.

“Do you know what to do? Do you have a plan? Fire, police and emergency medical services may be delayed in responding. You need to learn what to do, have a plan and be prepared to take care of yourself, your family and your community,” says instructor Karen Plantz. The program offers common sense answers to disaster preparation questions.

There are six basics you should stock up on in your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding, tools and emergency supplies/special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container with wheels, a camping backpack or a duffle bag.

Signups may be done online using the eCatalog: Call Karen Plantz at 562-866-9771, extension 2404, for additional information.

Survive for 7 signups

CERT 3-day emergency response team program

Lakewood residents, FEMA-certified instructors and Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel will join forces for three Saturdays of free disaster training starting March 16. Community Emergency Response Team, “CERT,” trainers will show attendees how to survive a disaster and effectively help their community during the aftermath.

The 21-hour CERT program provides expert instruction and hands-on training. It educates residents about disaster preparedness and disaster response skills for dealing with serious crisis situations. Their goal is to help residents become more self-reliant and better prepared for the aftermath of a serious emergency like a major earthquake.

Training will be held at the Weingart Senior Center from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, March 16, 23 and 30. Topics include light search and rescue, triage, fire safety, team organization, disaster medical operations and orientation about working with public safety personnel during a major crisis. The program is part of the Lakewood’s “Survive for 7” efforts. Disaster guides and how-to checklists are online at

During each session participants are required to wear closed toed shoes and long pants (for safety purposes). You must attend all three sessions to receive your CERT certification. Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Pre-registration is required. Registration may be done online using course number 31059. Call Karen Plantz at 562-866-9771, extension 2404, for additional information.

Disaster information: KLWD 1620, the web and CityTV Channel 31

How successfully Lakewood responds in the days and weeks after a major disaster depends in large part on how well the community stays informed. By harnessing the Internet, radio, and cable television, the city is prepared to get important disaster relief messages to the community in the aftermath of a major catastrophe.

In the event of a citywide disaster, 1620 AM will broadcast Lakewood-specific information about emergency services. Be prepared to tune into the city’s emergency radio station KLWD 1620 AM using a portable crank disaster kit radio or car radio. Year-round the channel broadcasts public information on disaster preparedness and city programs.

Comprehensive survival guide and plans are available for download

“Survive for 7” pages on the city website feature numerous disaster guides, tip sheets and links. Recently, Los Angeles County officials have organized a disaster preparedness guide to help residents prepare for emergencies and major disasters. The Emergency Survival Guide has 100 pages of advice and information to help residents prepare for fires, floods, earthquakes, pandemic flu, terrorism, extreme weather and tsunamis. To view the guide and other helpful information, go to

Having a family disaster plan is vital. Emergency personnel say the most striking aspect of many recent disasters has been the lack of public preparation. Experts insist there is a dire need for every family to have the food, water, and personal resources to withstand a prolonged loss of basic services—all are part of a family disaster plan and a major theme of Lakewood’s “Survive for 7” campaign.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department, along with FEMA and, strongly encourage residents to be prepared to be on their own for seven days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services.

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