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Alhambra police and fire departments to host disaster preparedness meetings

The 5.1-magnitude earthquake that struck March 28 near La Habra was a wake-up call for many Southern California residents who were not prepared for an emergency. The earthquake caused power outages and rockslides and damaged gas lines.

To help residents prepare for future earthquakes and disasters, the Alhambra police and fire departments will host community emergency preparedness meetings on April 26, May 3, and Sept. 6. Alhambra firefighters, police officers, and school administrators, as well as representatives from the American Red Cross and Cal Tech, will make presentations about how the city will respond and where residents should go in case of an emergency. A question-and-answer panel will follow, giving attendees a chance to voice concerns.

“I would encourage all Alhambra residents to attend one of the meetings, especially if they have children in our local schools,” said Alhambra Police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.

Alhambra has a comprehensive plan that outlines city operations and response during an emergency, according to Assistant Fire Chief Raymond Mosack. “The Fire Department has trained and prepared to respond to any city-wide disaster as are all city employees,” Mosack said, adding that the plan also explains federal, state, county, and local responsibilities "for protecting life and property and assuring the overall well being of the population.”

The police and fire departments regularly evaluate emergency response times and create training scenarios, according to Police Capt. Elliot Kase. “The longer we go without having to deal with a significant natural or man-made emergency, the greater the chance we are not prepared,” Kase said. “We always train in preparation for the worst case scenario to better prepare us.”

The two-hour meetings will be held April 26, May 3, and Sept. 6 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Alhambra Fire Station 71, 301 N. First St., Alhambra, Calif., 91801.

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