Calif. county holds emergency preparedness fair for residents

The Yuba County Office of EMS held a fair to educate residents on what to do during a natural disaster, and handed out go-bags


Jeff Larson
Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.

YUBA COUNTY, Calif. — Yuba County Office of Emergency Services organized an Emergency Preparedness Fair on Friday at the Alcouffe Center in an effort to educate local residents.

The idea behind the fair was to prepare the county's residents and property owners for future natural disasters, said Rachel Rosenbaum, Yuba County media and community relations specialist.

Rosenbaum said search and rescue, CAL FIRE, the fire safe council, public health and more were in attendance sharing potentially life-saving information.

"With over a dozen local agencies involved, including local public safety officials, residents will get good information straight from the best sources," Rosenbaum said in an email. "This year, COVID-19 certainly delayed our plans, but we wanted to be sure residents were still able to get good information as we head into the height of fire and power shutoff season. Also, we hope to host another preparedness fair in the fall on the valley floor, with more of a focus on flood preparedness."

There were many first responders in attendance passing out vital information and in some cases giving demonstrations into what local first responders do to protect the community.

Yuba County Undersheriff Nicholas Morawcznski said one of the vital aspects of any emergency response in any community is technical rescue. He said the unit can be patrolled any time of the year for someone who goes missing on a hike or from a campground.

One of the local leaders in the technical rescue unit is Sgt. Susan Jensen.

Jensen said after the missing person is reported to a dispatcher a call goes out to assess the situation and see if search and rescue is needed.

After that, a unit may be deployed, Jensen said.

There are many different types of units that search and rescue use on any given day, Jensen said. While each one is trained in multiple areas, Jensen said there are individual underwater dive teams, teams trained to work in swift-water situations like rivers, and units who work on the ground searching for individuals who may have wandered off for a variety of seasons.

Earlier this week, Jensen said there was a case of a person who walked away from a campground above Brownsville near Strawberry Valley.

While Jensen said not every case is successful in terms of safely locating the individual, search and rescue is a valuable commodity used especially in Yuba County where terrain varies drastically.

Gabor Berenyl, a Yuba County foothills resident visiting the fair with his family, said it's crucial for every family to make a connection with local emergency resources in their community.

Berenyl, who immigrated from Hungary five years ago, said he was quick to connect with all the emergency contacts. He said with mobile devices nowadays, it's simple to share a location with certain individuals.

Emergency go-bags were also given out on a first-come, first-served basis that had featured basic supplies like a flashlight, flash drive for important documents, water bottle, etc.

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(c)2021 the Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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