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Volunteers encourage preparedness

Ben Godar

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month, and members of the Community

Disaster Volunteers are using it to encourage residents to learn to

be self-sufficient in the event of a disaster.


Those who volunteer receive Community Emergency Response Team

training, which teaches them how to care for themselves and their

neighborhood in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake,

program consultant Deborah Shane said.


“In this day and age, every member of the community can benefit by

getting involved, knowing the difference between fact and fiction and

what they can do,” she said.

Members meet once a month to discuss aspects of emergency response

and participate in drills, Shane said. While some members are part of

active response teams, she said others simply use the information to

prepare themselves and their families.

Mike Rogers, who serves on the group’s steering committee, said he


never realized how important the training was until he heard a tape

of the flood of 911 calls in the minutes after the Northridge


“If you’re not one of the first six people to call, there’s not

going to be a fire engine for you,” he said.

The more than 300 members serve as everything from emergency-radio

operators to arson watchers, Shane said. Members recently provided

support to the Fire Department following the MetroLink derailment in



Shane said anyone interested in joining the group should call the

city’s human resources department at 238-5021. Volunteers must pass a

background check and are covered under the state’s Worker’s

Compensation Program while serving.

For more information on the Community Disaster Volunteers, call

238-3350 or check out the group’s Web site at