As winter rains begin to fall, leading to road closures and power outages, residents can rest assured that local Emergency Preparedness professionals are being trained to respond to a wide variety of emergencies. Recent disasters across California have heightened awareness for the need to have individuals and families prepared to evacuate or shelter-in-place.
Santa Cruz and the surrounding regions have been impacted by flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, wild fire and disease outbreaks. This week over fifty environmental and public health professionals convened at the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s complex to train and prepare for all-hazards emergencies that might impact our communities.
State, county and private partners trained together over two days exploring mass care and sheltering, mass feeding and response operations.
“Preparing for emergencies that disrupt our health and sanitation is critical for all members of the public,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer, Dr. Arnold S. Leff. “This no-cost training in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Santa Barbara, San Benito, Calaveras, and San Mateo counties brought us together to sharpen our readiness to assist community members in need.”
Marcy Barnett, from CDPH, who has provided the Environmental Health Training Emergency Response across the state, was pleased to see the turnout and progress being made. “We know emergency incidents will happen and we know health and safety must be considered before, during and after a disaster.”
“This training was an opportunity to learn more about current best practices and to train with other professionals that I may need to work with during emergency situations,” remarked Troy Boone, a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. Trainings such as this prepare public health staff to prevent and reduce the spread of illness through food safety, water regulations, hand washing and health education when these incidents happen.
For more information on emergency preparedness visit: http://www.santacruzhealth.org/emergencyplan