Malibu Community Emergency Response Team

I’d like to bring to your attention a very special ground-breaking Disaster Preparedness Project that has been completed in Malibu, California with the support of the city and the Community Emergency Response Team, C.E.R.T.

I had moved to Malibu in the fall of 2005 and was soon to experience the great rains that winter, which washed out our roads.   In addition, I had the experience of living on the ocean which was quite violent that year.   

Upon arriving in Malibu I was moved to join the C.E.R.T. team, as preparedness was foremost in my mind. In July of 2005, I approached Brad Davis, the Head of Emergency Preparedness and C.E.R.T., with the idea that on the far west end of Malibu, we needed a sea container with disaster supplies, in case the PCH ever got cut off. Since Malibu is 27 miles long it only makes sense to have additional emergency supplies for the C.E.R.T. team members to utilize or any Emergency people to utilize given any circumstance where it should prove necessary. To my surprise, there wasn’t anything in place already. 

After an inspired discussion, I’m happy to say that one year and one month later, Malibu now has 5 sea containers spread throughout the 27miles and at various schools, filled with water, blankets, food stores, and even some medical supplies for a short-term carry-over for any disaster!   

I had spoken with our mayor who had embraced the idea at its inception, and then Brad took it further to City Council, who eventually approved a significant budget for this and increased the program from not one, but 5 containers for the city.   I assisted Brad by managing the team of C.E.R.T. volunteers as we practiced the Incident Command System by putting these volunteers in categories such as Logistics, Planning, Finance, and Operations, in order to carry out this enormous task as quickly as possible.   

Everyone worked hard and it has come together beautifully! I’ve since proposed that our Governor take this project and use it as a template for all cities in the state of California, by encouraging citizens to empower themselves by being prepared in their own communities. California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver, personally replied to me, asking me to take on this task myself and go forward in encouraging communities to follow suit.   I’ll do the best I can, but I simply can’t do it alone. 

There is not another community that has a project like this completed anywhere that we can find, which includes our inquiries with FEMA.   Malibu is a unique community, but this project is able to be easily duplicated anywhere, if the people are motivated and encouraged to empower themselves.   Not only does it make sense to have a store of supplies around cities in today’s day and age, but having a Sea Container Project in every city encourages citizens, no matter their difference, to come together for a common, community-driven cause, and also to join and support their local C.E.R.T Team. 

I encourage you, with your support of C.E.R.T, to take the Sea Container Project forward and make California, the most prepared, organized, and community-driven state.   Let us come together to help each other. 

C.E.R.T.   Stands for Community Emergency Response Team and is comprised of volunteers in each community.   If you’d like to join the C.E.R.T. team nearest you, begin by contacting your local City Hall and begin by taking the C.E.R.T. training course. 

It’s simply common sense and nothing short of good measure to be prepared for anything whether it be fires, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornados, or even hurricanes.   Whatever the case may be, at least you’ll be a part of your community both giving and receiving.   For, in the giving, you receive! 

-Winifred Adams

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