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Office of Emergency Services

El Niño is coming, are you ready?

Elder Creek at BaselineThe San Bernardino County Fire Department Office of Emergency Services will host a series of public awareness meetings beginning tonight regarding this winter’s expected El Niño storm system.

The first meeting will be held Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at  Victorville City Hall, 14343 Civic Drive.

Meetings will also be held on:

– Monday, Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center, 57090 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley
– Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, 12505 Cultural Center Drive in Rancho Cucamonga

The public is strongly encouraged to attend. The best way to get prepared is to get informed. The first 50 attendees will receive a personal disaster preparedness kit from California Volunteers.

In its most recent El Niño Diagnostic Discussion, the National Weather Service along with the federal Climate
Prediction Center stated “there is an approximately 95 percent chance” that El Niño will continue through the winter
and begin to weaken in the spring.

After four years of drought, our ground is so dry and hard that it cannot absorb enough water when we do get
rain, which leads to dangerous flooding situations. Risks are higher for areas that have experienced wildfires
recently, specifically the risk of mudslides. According to the US Geological Survey, “post-fire landslide hazards
include fast-moving, highly destructive debris flows that can occur in the years immediately after wildfires in
response to high intensity rainfall events.”

Already this year we have seen multiple major flooding and mudslide events. In mid-October, flooding and mud
flows trapped hundreds of motorists in adjacent counties and forced the temporary closure of Interstate 5
through the Tehachapi Mountains. In early September, a couple on a first date got caught in a flash flood at Mill
Creek crossing in Forest Falls. While she was able to make it to shore, he did not make it out of the water alive.
In August, flash flooding in Riverside County washed out a bridge on Interstate 10.

San Bernardino County Fire Office of Emergency Services, the National Weather Service, San Bernardino County Public Works, and the state Department of Water Resources will update you on the latest El Niño forecast and how local
government is preparing. They will also provide flood preparation materials for residents.

For additional information, please contact the Office of Emergency Services at (909) 356-3998. To learn more
about flood preparation, visit www.sbcfire.org or visit the County’s El Niño page.

Get ready to ShakeOut for earthquake safety on Thursday

Drop Cover and Hold OnOn Thursday, Oct. 16 at 10:16 a.m., over half a million people in San Bernardino County will be participating in the DROP, COVER and HOLD ON Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill. Take this opportunity to evaluate your own personal level of preparedness and determine the steps necessary to better prepare yourself and your family to survive and recover.
Let your family know that they can listen to the ShakeOut earthquake announcement tomorrow, 10/16 at 10:16 a.m., on:

KFRG 95.1 FM (Inland Empire and SB Mountains)
KRXV 98.1 (Mojave Desert)
KZXY 102.3 (Victor Valley)
KDES 98.5 (Morongo Basin)

Make a commitment to care… don’t let preparedness be a once a year event. Steps you take today and in the following days will affect your family’s ability to get back to normal sooner after the next major earthquake.

Make this the year you did something to encourage the survival of your family, friends and coworkers in a major earthquake. Watch this video to learn more about earthquake safety.

For more information, visit www.shakeout.org/California.

Office of Emergency Services honored for mass care and shelter program

CESA AwardToday the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors recognized the San Bernardino County Fire Department Office of Emergency Services for recently being awarded the California Emergency Services Association (CESA) Public Safety Gold Award for its Mass Care and Shelter, Shelter Operations Compound (SHOC) Program.  The CESA Public Safety Gold Award is the top award for public safety emergency management programs in the State of California.

On Thursday, October 17, 2013, Mike Antonucci, OES Emergency Services Manager and Zack Mullennix, OES Emergency Services Officer, were on hand at this year’s CESA Conference in Santa Rosa to receive the award.  The CESA State Awards Committee was greatly impressed by the program and called it “an innovative and ground breaking approach to sheltering large groups”. 

San Bernardino County’s SHOC Program is a collaborative effort between County Fire, multiple County departments, cities within the Operational Area, the American Red Cross and other partner agencies.

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ShakeOut a success in San Bernardino County

shakeoutmuseum

The October 17, 2013 Great ShakeOut was a success in San Bernardino County with 620,412 participants from all sectors including government, school districts, healthcare facilities, nonprofit organizations and local families.

The Great ShakeOut is a worldwide drill performed to increase awareness of earthquakes and help prepare in the event of a disaster.

All San Bernardino County departments participated in the drop, cover and hold on exercise. Some departments followed that exercise with a fire following an earthquake drill and evacuation.

The County Museum held special events the day of the ShakeOut with hundreds of adults and children from nearby schools learning about the impact of earthquakes. The 2014 Great California ShakeOut is scheduled for 10:16 a.m. on October 16, 2014.

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