Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 2:41 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Disaster Preparedness Focus of Saturday Event in Lompoc

Nearly a year after Lompoc neighborhoods were evacuated as flames raced toward the city, residents can learn more Saturday about being better prepared in the event of a disaster like a fire or earthquake.

Disaster preparedness and wildfire awareness will be the focus Saturday at the Lompoc Fire Department’s annual event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Home Depot parking lot, 1701 E. Ocean Ave.

This year’s event will include The Big Shaker, the world’s biggest mobile earthquake simulator which can re-create the intense shaking of an earthquake up to a magnitude of 8.0. The Big Shaker is designed to educate citizens about what can happen inside their homes during an earthquake and how to prepare.

Fire Chief Kurt Latipow noted the trailer’s visit is especially timely due to the massive earthquake that struck Nepal recently.

In addition, Saturday’s event will showcase the countywide “Ready, Set, Go!” Program, a three-step process that allows firefighters to teach homeowners to create their own action plan of getting their property prepped for a potential wildfire.

Being ready before a fire sparks and getting set to flee with the necessary items also will be part of the presentation which will help residents understand the role of evacuations.

“We timed this event with a statewide Wildfire Awareness Day,” Latipow said. “We try to time it so we get the message out as early as possible.”

The event comes just weeks shy of the anniversary of the Miguelito Fire, which forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes in southern Lompoc flames in the nearby hills raced toward the city.

“What we found last May is as hard as we worked getting the preparedness message out there, it’s a natural feeling for people to say it’s not going to happen to me. This is a much different event than our open house,” Latipow said, explaining Saturday’s will provide valuable tips on how families can prepare for evacuations of themselves and pets. 

The event will include 37 interactive displays hosted by preparedness partners such as the American Red Cross, Aware and Prepare, Santa Barbara County Fire, Lompoc CERT, PG&E, Vandenberg AFB Fire Department, the Fire Safe Council, The Gas Company, the Lompoc Fire Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service and others.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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