Throughout National Emergency Preparedness Month, the City of Santa Paula encouraged members of the community to learn how to be prepared and stay informed before an emergency situation arises. During the month of September, the City of Santa Paula Police Department (SPPD) shared safety tips and resources to help guide residents as they take the steps to prepare at home.
In July 2022, City staff renewed their oath to serve as disaster service workers in the event of an emergency or natural disaster in Santa Paula. As public servants, all City employees are committed, ready, willing and able to work together to serve and assist the community during traumatic events. In October, all five members of the Santa Paula City Council will take the same pledge to serve their constituents in the event of a disaster.
“I am proud to work alongside such committed staff members who are ready and willing to serve our community during an emergency, just like they did during the Thomas Fire nearly 5 years ago,” stated Mayor Jenny Crosswhite. “I hope that we never face that kind of event again, but it’s important for the entire Santa Paula community to be prepared in case we do. Whether it’s flooding, fire, an earthquake or something else, all our households need to be ready with their emergency kits, including pet supplies, and a plan for how they will respond to the next natural disaster.”
The Santa Paula Police Department is prepared to respond to any kind of emergency that may occur. In addition to their regular training, multiple members of the department are trained using courses offered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute (FEMA EMI). SPPD is also equipped with an emergency command post that will allow the department to oversee emergency response operations.
SPPD provides regular updates for the community through five different social media platforms, as well as Nixle. During an emergency, SPPD will leverage Nixle to send timely alerts and updates related to the incident. In addition, Ventura County has also implemented an emergency notification system to deliver time sensitive alerts to residents when there is a threat to health and safety. Santa Paula community members are highly encouraged to sign up for these notifications by visiting the City’s emergency alerts webpage or texting 93060 to 888777 for Nixle alerts.
Although the City is well equipped to serve the community during unanticipated situations, it is critical that residents know what to do before a disaster strikes. Santa Paula reminds residents that the most important step anyone can take to prepare for an emergency is to have a plan. Households should create their own emergency plans that include arrangements for shelter, evacuation and communication with loved ones and emergency service providers. To bolster one’s ability to adapt to unknown conditions after a major disaster, residents should also create a supply kit with basic items.
Santa Paula will continue to provide information and resources for residents as it recognizes Fire Prevention Week in October. The City is partnering with organizations across Ventura County, including the Ventura County Fire Department, Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council and Ventura County Wildfire Collaborative, to attend the Cruise Night on October 7 to educate residents on steps they can take to make their residences safer.
On October 20, the City will be participating in the Great Shake Out, an annual, international event to practice earthquake drills such as drop, cover and hold on. Residents are encouraged to register for the event at ShakeOut.org and participate as a family at home. Additional activities for children can be found on Ready.gov.
“With all of the potential disaster threats facing our City, it is extremely important for us to ensure our residents have the necessary information and resources to prepare for emergencies,” said City Manager Dan Singer. “We’re working to advance emergency preparedness among staff and throughout the entire community, so if you have any questions or need additional information, our Police Department can help you get started.”
The Thomas Fire in 2017 showed all of us that we need to be prepared at the drop of a hat. National Emergency Preparedness Month is an opportunity to reflect and get prepared in advance. Residents can sign up to receive wildfire related information from the Ventura County Resource Conservation District, as well as join their volunteer force.
For more information, visit ReadyVenturaCounty.org.