The City of Mill Valley is taking its celebrated emergency preparedness efforts to the backyard – your backyard, that is. 

In an effort to spread the word about the emergency-ready gear and skills that residents already have at their fingertips, the City is hosting on Saturday, June 7 its first-ever Ready Mill Valley Backyard Campout, an exciting, fun-filled event that promises to give every member of your family a greater sense of resiliency in the face of a disaster – without feeling like homework. 

“Summer is almost here! Let’s all dig out our camping gear and spend a night under the stars with our family and friends to celebrate the inaugural Backyard Campout and show off our emergency preparedness skills!” Mill Valley Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters says. 

The Backyard Campout has two arenas: residents can participate with other families, neighbors and friends by pitching a tent outside the Mill Valley Community Center for a night of fun-filled games, entertainment, activities, a barbecue and campfire (S’mores!) – or they can camp in their own backyards and test their resiliency from afar.

“It’s tough to prioritize the What-IF of a disaster over the What-IS of daily life,” says Mike Jacobs, the CERT training officer and vice chair of the City’s Emergency Preparedness Commission. “To make that easier for folks, we started with what people already prioritize (fun, family time and outdoor adventure) that could also be useful in a disaster … and the Backyard Campout was born.” 

Activities at the Community Center will include: 

  • CERT Ride Along Relay – Join your CERT strike team leader as you deploy through an earthquake-ravaged Mill Valley, assessing building damage, communicating via radio to command and locate and assisting an injured neighbor.
  • Fun games and arts & crafts, such as making (and decorating) your own first-aid kit.
  • Family-friendly entertainment, including a sing-a-long and magic show.
  • A host of emergency preparedness displays and info.
  • Tours of Mill Valley’s newest fire engine.
  • Fire extinguisher demonstrations.

While those camping in the comfort of their own backyards won’t get to experience all of the great food, activities and entertainment at the Community Center in person, we’ll provide plenty of suggestions for games and activities to make the most of this unique experience. 

The foundation of the event, according to Mill Valley Fire Department Chief Jeff Davidson, is realizing that the basic elements of camping go a long way in getting you ready to deal with the aftermath of a disaster. 

“If you can camp out at your home or at the Mill Valley Community Center for one night, you are demonstrating a level of resiliency,” Davidson said. 

Click here for more details and to register for the Ready Mill Valley Backyard Campout

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