State Emphasizes Disaster Preparedeness

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The state’s top disaster official says his office is learning a lot from Katrina. "We’re looking at all of our plans to see what we can do to strengthen them."

State Office of Emergency Services Director Henry Renteria appeared Tuesday at California’s first annual “Day of Preparedness” education fair at the State OES Headquarters in Sacramento.

First Lady Maria Shriver was also there. She helped a group of young children fill sandbags.

Maria Shriver: “Do you know why we’re sandbagging?”
Child: “Because what if there’s a flood at your house.”

Renteria says among other things, the OES is working on how to quickly move out large groups of people in the event of a disaster.

"We do have populations very much like the Gulf Coast had of people who may not have a way to evacuate and so we need to address how to move large numbers of people that do not have their own transportation or people that have special needs whether they’re disabled, the elderly or people like that."

He says all Californains should prepare for disaster by stocking up on emergency supplies such as water, food and medicine.