BRENTWOOD -- No one can ever predict when a natural disaster may hit, but a group of East County residents is working to get people planning for the future and touting that being prepared is the only way to ensure survival.
On Saturday members from various Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints throughout East County are coming together to host an East County Safety and Emergency Preparedness Fair.
This sixth annual event will be more than just the simply pulling together a few fire trucks and police service groups to show off their wares. The groups will offer programs to help to teach and train East County residents and let them know about the resources available to them in case of an disaster.
"Over the past two years we've been working with several agencies to add more training into the program," Annette Beckstrand, organizer of the event, said. "Our event will even bring in local school districts. Considering the amount of time kids are in school it is possible the emergency will happen during school hours."
Beckstrand said that the emphasis of this event is preparedness, even using the phrase the Community Emergency Response Team Manual has as the slogan for their event: "Preparedness is the key to survival in a disaster."
"Most people prepare by having enough supplies for a couple of hours," Beckstrand said. "They aren't aware that it can take up to seven days for aide to arrive."
To make the event even more enticing, the group is working with the Brentwood Rotary Club to provide a barbecue lunch for up to 1,500 people.
The group will bring organizations from all over together, including Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley and Pittsburg Police departments, Brentwood SWAT and K-9 groups, as well as Neighborhood Watch, Antioch Union School District, Liberty Union High School District and Brentwood Union School District, U.S. Coast Guard, AMR Ambulance Service, American Red Cross, and all of the East County fire departments.
At noon the CalStar helicopter will arrive and Contra Costa County Search and Rescue will be on hand to answer any questions.
"Our goal is to educate our neighbors," Beckstrand said. "We want everyone to be safe."
To that end, they will help educate children to be prepared, provide children's finger printing and information on emergency supplies to store and how to store them. There also will be information on how to prepare homes, including how to build a 72-hour survival kit.
What: East County Safety Emergency Preparedness Fair
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: LDS Church, 2350 Jeffery Way, Brentwood