AWARE -- PREPARE!
cannot schedule our next ‘disaster’. Nor can we predict
where the next emergency is going to hit. We also do not know why
accidents, emergencies, and disasters DO happen. The only things
we can control are our reactions and responses to each situation.
last several weeks have highlighted a plethora of disastrous events,
leaving many asking if it could happen here in Lawndale. Although
Lawndale could experience a disaster, community response and recovery
will vary considerably from gulf coast and southern states’
practices ‘bottom up’ emergency management, and the
City of Lawndale is no exception. What this means is that a situation
is taken care of at the lowest, easiest level. If a problem is bigger
than City staff can handle, help is requested from our surrounding
South Bay cities and from the County of Los Angeles. (We southern
Californians are very good at helping each other out). If several
South Bay cities are affected at the same time, the County of Los
Angeles is empowered to look for help from other California counties.
A truly awesome event, such as a wide spread earthquake on the San
Andreas fault line would go beyond our southern cities and counties
and involve the entire state of California and its resources to
make sure that each local jurisdiction gets the help it needs to
meet the challenges at the lowest possible level.
California, we do not wait on outside (state or federal) help—we
have our systems and resource organizations and materials in place
just in case. State and federal assistance is used to supplement
and fulfill shortfalls because, in a disaster in California, no
one goes it alone: we’re all in this together!
is why, over many years, Californians are continually being urged
to prepare! Each individual and family should have enough food and
water to cover their needs for a minimum of 72 hours. Of course,
a week or two worth of supplies would be better; however, in most
cases, we already have enough on hand to cover us for several days.
everybody took a few minutes each week to review their emergency
options, to put together emergency evacuation supplies and kits,
to take basic emergency courses and practice first aid, cribbing
and shoring, and got to know their neighbors, then emergency aid
during a disaster would be immediate, coming from neighbor helping
neighbor, with no one overlooked or forgotten.
Lawndale, we are lucky that a hurricane like Katrina cannot happen
here: our weather patterns are very different from the gulf coast.
Our landscape is also such that massive flooding is not possible.
The City has done a lot to improve the drainage systems and modernize
our streets to reduce even minimal flooding from our rainy season.
We are so far inland and have the type of shallow coastline that
decreases the effects of a potential tsunami on our city.
for ‘neighbor helping neighbor’: Lawndale is a city
of opportunities for community involvement and volunteers. Please
contact the Municipal Services Department at (310) 973-3220 for
said, “Any journey starts with the first step.” In Lawndale,
preparedness starts with awareness.