Mill Valley firefighters conducting a controlled burn on Horse Hill in 2010.

You’d have to have your head pretty deep in the proverbial stand to be unaware of the dire need to focus on emergency preparedness within your community. Recent years have certainly provided us with no shortage of horrific examples of the need to be ready.

As part of National Preparedness Month – a federal FEMA initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time – a collaboration among the Southern Marin Neighborhood Response Group, Mill Valley Emergency Preparedness Commission, the Southern Marin Fire Protection District, the Mill Valley Police Department, ReadyMarin and the Mill Valley Public Library is set to launch a five-part Emergency Preparedness Series, starting this Thursday, Sept. 1 with a focus on Fire Readiness and Defensible Space.

The series continues each Thursday in September, allowing participants to learn more about each of the building blocks of emergency preparedness, from packing your personal kit to hands-on CPR. Attendees to all five programs will be entered to win a raffle.

All programs are 6-7pm in the Creekside Room. Registration recommended – REGISTER HERE.

The Mill Valley Library’s new adult services librarian Jenn Hooker, who has a disaster preparedness background, is spearheading the five-week speaker series, in cooperation with the aforementioned local emergency preparedness partners. 

As the new Community Engagement Coordinator for the City of Mill Valley, Michelle Godard Terrell will lead the discussion about evacuations, resources, and community refuge areas on September 22. 

“Have you done everything you can to make your home ready for fire?” asks Elaine Wilkinson, the Marin County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “This one-hour class in home fire safety and how to protect your home against wildfires will help answer that critical question. Learn about local ordinance/requirements for defensible space, home hardening, chipper/vegetation removal opportunities, and other useful information for keeping your home safe from fires. That first class will be taught by SMFD Chief Fred Hilliard.” Here are the classes and the links to register for each:

September 1stFire Readiness and Defensible Space
September 8thPacking Your Go Bag
September 15thMake a Plan
September 22ndEvacuations, Resources, & Community Refuges
September 29thFirst Aid/CPR

See upcoming National Preparedness Month Series workshops.


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