Community Council Urges Better Disaster Preparedness

New disaster readiness programs were introduced during a Pacific Palisades Community Council board meeting on Thursday, October 10.

Initiatives like the Ready Your Los Angeles Neighborhood and the Red Cross’ Map Your Neighborhood programs encourage neighborhoods to organize and hold meetings on disaster preparedness and communications strategies for any situation.

“RYLAN is essentially the same thing as Map Your Neighborhood program, so we’re about a year ahead of the rest of the city of Los Angeles because we started talking about [this] last year,” said Cathi Ruddy, PPCC’s emergency preparedness liaison, at Thursday’s meeting.

Ruddy has spent the last year presenting these programs to different local homeowners associations in hopes of best preparing a community that recently had wildfire scares in the northern and southern parts of The Highlands neighborhood.

“We’ve got a long way to go to cover the Palisades,” she said. “The businesses, the Community Council and all of our neighborhoods are being asked [by the city of Los Angeles] to organize and to be prepared to deal with an emergency.”

Ruddy invited members of the audience to sign up on the spot to host these meetings where community members can get to know each other and identify any medical skills or special equipment they might have that can come in handy when disaster strikes.

“Either Red Cross or RYLAN will give you materials to organize,” she said. “I am happy to help [members of the community] organize it, too.”

Ruddy also urged Palisadians to sign up for NotifyLA, a system that sends out emergency alerts.

Other neighborhoods around the Palisades have also prioritized disaster preparedness efforts, like the North Topanga Fire Safe Council and a recently practiced evacuation route in Mandeville Canyon.