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Guest Column

Robyn Grant

Candidate for Newport Beach City Council

District 4

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, our annual reminder to prepare for emergencies like wildfires, earthquakes, and landslides affecting our homes, businesses and communities. This year’s theme, “A Lasting Legacy,” is a reminder that being prepared for disasters keeps you and your loved ones safe.

Preparedness needs vary, so ask the critical question: Am I ready? Then take the time to prepare for the risks that might affect your family, pets and property.

Start by learning about the types of disasters that impact your area and make an emergency plan. For example, almost one-third of Newport Beach is designated as “wildland urban interface,” which is the area where structures and other development meet undeveloped wildland rife with vegetation that fuels wildfires which burn intensely with devastating impacts. Creating a defensible space around your home can make the difference between a close call and destruction. Whether it’s replacing wood chips with gravel, landscape management, or fire resistive construction, the steps you take matter.

One of the best ways to prepare your family and community for all types of emergencies is by enrolling in the City of Newport Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training which starts in February. Enrollment is free and includes a Tuesday or Thursday evening series from February to March or two all-day Saturdays in March.

CERT is a positive approach to emergency readiness, educating people to help people, especially in emergencies where residents may initially be on their own and their actions will make a difference. Training includes basic medical aid, managing utilities and small fires, search and rescue and other effective safety measures.

Keep in mind emergency preparedness begins at home with a personal disaster supply kit in a backpack or rollable bin. Include nonperishable food and water for a few days, candles, matches, a flashlight with extra batteries, blankets, first aid, cash, prescription medications and glasses, pet supplies, important phone numbers, copies of important documents like passports and birth certificates and a basic tool kit.

For more information about disaster preparedness go to

For more information about Newport Beach CERT training, go to

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