Let Prep Day Prepare You For The Next Disaster

Faced with destructive wildfires, the constant threat of a major earthquake and lingering effects from a statewide historic drought, Californians are naturally accustomed to living in a disaster-prone state. Emphasizing the importance of emergency preparedness, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is doing its part to ensure the public is ready by hosting the 12th annual California Day of Preparedness on Saturday in Old Sacramento.

The California Day of Preparedness, powered by PG&E, is a free, family-friendly event (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and will be staged on the 1849 Scene near the Railroad Museum and Discovery Museum. The one-day event serves as the unofficial kickoff to September’s National Preparedness Month.

This year’s theme is “Surviving the Wild West” referencing Old Sacramento as the commercial center of the California Gold Rush as it became a crossroads of transportation connected by steamboats to San Francisco, supply roads to mining regions, and to Folsom by the first railroad in the West. California is considered one of the most diverse states when it comes to “wild” natural and man-made disasters – wildfires, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and volcanoes.

The California Day of Preparedness consists of three-plus hours of live demonstrations on two separate stages – Main and River – and will also include a special ceremony on the Main Stage at 10 a.m. The River Stage will be in the Sacramento River near the Discovery Museum. Demonstrations will occur approximately every 15 minutes beginning on the Main Stage at 10:30 a.m.

Some demos on the Main Stage include: learning how to escape a vehicle with downed power lines nearby; K-9 officers; organizing a prep kit; and “jaws of life” vehicle extrication. Aside from swift water rescues on the River Stage, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department will use an aerial display above the Sacramento River to show how to fight fires with a helicopter water drop.

In all, there will be about 40 organizations partnering with Cal OES for this year’s event, including: 911 for Kids, Alhambra, American Red ​Cross, Boy Scouts of America, ​CAL FIRE, ​​ California Conservation Corps, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Division of Boating and Waterways​, California Geological Survey​, California National Guard, California Utilities Emergency Association​, Caltrans – California Department of Transportation, EMSA – Emergency Medical Services Authority, FEMA Region IX, ​Girl Scouts of America, Home Depot, National Weather Service​​, PG&E, Ready America, Raley’s, Sacramento River Cats, Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District​, Sacramento CERT – Community Emergency Response Team, Sacramento County DART​, Sacramento Fire Department, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Sacramento Zoo, Team Rubicon, Western States Seismic Policy Council, Yocha-D​ehe Fire Department, 100.5 NOW, 105.1 KNCI, California Department of Water Resources, CAOL- California Operational Lifesaver, Shriners Hospitals for Children, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento Republic FC, California Highway Patrol, Amtrak, California State Railroad Museum, Yocha Dehe Fire Department and West Sacramento CERT.

In addition to eateries in Old Sacramento, there will be four food trucks on site – Buckhorn Grill, Cousins Maine Lobster, Smokin’ Hot Pizza and La Mex Taqueria – and shaved ice from Kona Ice.

There will also be a mobile earthquake simulator, face painting, music, giveaways and a staged photo area.

More about California Day of Preparedness:


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Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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