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April 3, 2007 > Ready or Not, Disasters Happen!

Ready or Not, Disasters Happen!

Emergency Preparedness Fair on April 14 Will Help

To help educate residents about what they can do to help save and protect themselves and their families in case of an earthquake, fire or other catastrophe, the Tri-Cities Emergency Services Association (TESA) invites all residents of Fremont, Newark, and Union City to attend an upcoming Emergency Preparedness Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Washington Hospital on Saturday, April 14, 2007. The fair will take place inside the Conrad E. Anderson Auditorium and the adjacent parking lot which is located at 2500 Mowry Avenue (Washington West) in Fremont.

The fair is free to the public and will feature informational booths, earthquake information on your neighborhood, safety information, and a continuous display of emergency response vehicles from local police and fire service agencies. A SWAT team show and tell and hands-on training in turning off utilities will also take place. A Kids Zone play area for children will be available.

"This is a great opportunity for residents to learn more about how to prepare in the case of a disaster," says Marian Gonzalez, Emergency Services Specialist, Alameda County Water District and current chairperson of TESA. "We want our residents to understand that city governments and public agencies are limited in what they can do to mitigate the effects of a major disaster. A 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault will rupture many water mains, topple power lines, and destroy buildings. Emergency response and relief workers will be on the scene, but they will not be able to reach everyone immediately."

Those attending will:
* Learn simple yet important steps to take to prepare for the next disaster;
* Practice turning off utilities, such as natural gas and water;
* Be able to purchase emergency supplies and preparedness kits;
* View Emergency Response vehicles up close;
* Have an opportunity to sign up for free emergency preparedness training;
* Learn about natural/man-made disasters that threaten our community.

Feature presentations will help those attending to better prepare for disasters:
* Tom Brocher, a senior seismologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, will describe the impact of a major earthquake on the Hayward Fault on the Tri-City area.
* Brian Caminada, Battalion Chief for the Newark Fire Department, will share his experience from the Hurricane Katrina response effort.
* Vic Valdes, Fremont Fire Department MMRS Coordinator, will discuss terrorism preparedness in addition to other important emergency preparedness topics.

"Our most important message is that advance preparation on the part of every individual in Fremont, Newark, and Union City will reduce the risk of death, injury and property damage after a major disaster in our area," says Gonzalez.

TESA is a unique working collaborative of essential service agencies in Fremont, Newark and Union City formed to achieve effective local disaster response planning, coordination, and recovery. Its membership includes all Tri-City police and fire agencies, school districts, hospitals, and other critical utilities.

TESA agencies recognize that the effects of a major natural disaster on the Tri-City area means that most essential services for local residents will likely be interrupted for days or possibly even weeks following the event. Tri-City residents could be left without water, electricity, natural gas, sewer, and garbage services. Damage to major transportation corridors may make travel very difficult, and police and fire services will be stretched to their limit. During this critical time, families and individuals must rely on the advance preparations they have made to protect themselves.

For more information about the upcoming event, call Marian Gonzales at (510) 668-6532.
To learn helpful tips on how to better prepare for any emergency, visit www.whhs.com, click on "For Our Community" and select "Disaster Preparedness" from the drop-down menu.

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The tentative schedule for the TESA Emergency Preparedness Fair is as follows:

10:40 a.m. - Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina - Brian Caminada (Newark Fire Department)
11:20 a.m. - PG&E Emergency Preparedness - Donnie Jue (PG&E)
12:00 a.m. - Earthquake Preparedness - Dr. George Rodgers (Ohlone College, CERT)
12:40 p.m. - Terrorism Preparedness - Vic Valdes (Fremont Fire Department)
1:20 p.m. - Bay Area Earthquake Threat - Dr. Tom Brocher (USGS)
2:00 p.m.- Pandemic Influenza - Dr. Muntu Davis (Alameda County Department of Public Health)

An expert panel to respond to public questions convenes after the Pandemic Flu Presentation. There will also be raffle giveaways throughout the day and a couple of canine demonstrations out in the parking lot.

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