Neighborhood Councils have been instrumental in helping their communities recover from the recent LA-area fires, and plan ahead for future emergencies. Get inspired by their stories below – and if your NC has responded to these fires in some way, please make sure to let us know!
Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council invites anyone who lives in the hills to come learn from their expert special guest, Jack Wallis, at their November Emergency Preparedness Committee meeting. Mr. Wallis is the founder of Atlas Resilience Systems, and is a consultant in disaster preparation, planning, and knowledge. He will be sharing his tips and advice in a 25-minute presentation at the meeting, which takes place Wednesday November 13th at 7:00pm at the Bel Air Ridge Clubhouse, 2760 Claray, Los Angeles, CA 90077. Click to see the full meeting agenda.
Chatsworth Neighborhood Council worked with the office of CD12 City Councilmember John Lee during the recent Saddleridge Fire to bring water, snacks, masks, gloves, and goggles to the LAPD Command Center that had been set up at Northridge Shopping Center to help those affected by the fires. The severity of the fires had so completely wiped out local emergency supplies that one board member actually went all the way downtown to collect masks!
Chatsworth NC was able to make this kind of agile, in-the-moment response to the fires because they followed the Emergency Authority protocol outlined in the NC Funding Manual for expenditure of NC funds during officially-declared states of emergency. They will additionally follow the remaining steps in the process by agendizing motions to approve the emergency expenditures and approve board member reimbursements at their next board meeting.
(If your NC would like to use your Emergency Authority to allocate funds to emergency equipment and services in this manner, please make sure to do as Chatsworth NC did, and agendize a report-back and vote to approve the expenditures at your next board meeting, then fill out a Board Action Certification form (BAC) to turn in to your NC Funding Rep. Your Funding Representative or Neighborhood Empowerment Advocate can assist you, if you have questions about this process.)
Sylmar Neighborhood Council also assisted with both relief and recovery efforts during the Saddleridge Fire. While the fire was still active, their community CERT-trained volunteers helped set up the emergency evacuation shelter at the Sylmar Recreation Center. The volunteers helped evacuees and worked with the local hospital to obtain wheelchairs, blankets, and other equipment to keep them comfortable.
To plan ahead, the board also approved $1,000 for future purchase of items needed during any other declared local emergency during this fiscal year. They also held a joint meeting of their full board and Emergency Preparedness Committee, to discuss creating a Sylmar NC disaster plan; providing additional CERT trainings in January 2020; and offering Map Your LA Neighborhood trainings for everyone, including the local equestrian community.