September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and the Irvine Police Department (IPD) would like to share some important steps with residents and businesses to help protect family members and employees in an emergency. Irvine residents are encouraged to be prepared for any disaster that may impact our community, including earthquakes, fires, floods, and utility outages.
To ensure that immediate needs are met following a disaster, assemble a supply kit with enough provisions to last three to five days. Supplies can include food, water, and medicine. Residents should tailor their supply kit based on specific family needs, such as including extra eyeglasses or food and medicine for pets.
When a disaster strikes, family members may be in different locations. Prior to an emergency arising, pre-arrange a meeting location if the family home or regular gathering place is unavailable. Families should also develop a plan to communicate if landlines or cell phones are not working. Alternate communication plans might include e-mail or social media, as the Internet may not be impacted in the same way as cell phone connections. As most communication methods are electronic, keeping extra batteries or alternate power sources such as a solar powered cell phone charger in a convenient location may be helpful in an emergency.
Motorists may also consider keeping an emergency backpack in their vehicles in case roadways are blocked or damaged and the motorist needs to walk a long distance or remain in the car for an extended period of time. Items to consider placing in the backpack include comfortable walking shoes, a light jacket, snacks, water, and a flashlight.
By registering with AlertOC, time-sensitive voice messages from the City of Irvine may be sent to your home, mobile, or business phone. Text messages may also be sent to mobile phones, e-mail accounts, and hearing impaired receiving devices. For more information and to register for AlertOC, visit cityofirvine.org/alertOC.
IPD also posts regular updates to social media, which may be helpful in a disaster. Follow us on Instagram at IrvinePolice, Facebook.com/IrvinePD, and Twitter.com/IrvinePolice. Emergency updates may also be broadcast on 1640AM.
Community members may also participate in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course, which provides private citizens with basic skills to protect themselves, their family, and neighbors, and to respond to the immediate needs of the community in the aftermath of a disaster when emergency services are not readily available. For information and to sign up for CERT, visit cityofirvine.org/CERT.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit cityofirvine.org/prepare.