If the post-earthquake memories of 1989 aren't enough of a warning to be prepared for a disaster or emergency, the Richmond refinery fire in August and the conditions suffered on the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy should serve as your warning.

Even people who think they have done all they can to prepare could probably stand to learn more or refresh their knowledge.

People in West County have the opportunity this weekend to visit a one-stop resource event staffed by more than 20 safety and disaster preparedness organizations offering information, demonstrations and tips for making individuals and households ready.

The free Richmond Preparedness Expo is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South.

Health organizations, police, fire and other emergency response agencies, utilities and other groups are participating in the event sponsored by Chevron.

"Preparedness workshops will be provided on the community warning system, public transportation protocol, shelter-in-place orders, asthma education and general emergency safety," say organizers.

Free disaster kits will be given to the first 1,000 adults to attend, and there will be complimentary snacks and drinks as well as useful information for the whole family.

There is ample parking at the Craneway, and free shuttle service to the venue from neighborhoods around Richmond and the Del Norte BART station in El Cerrito is also being offered.


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For details on the expo and the shuttle locations, visit www.richmondpreparednessexpo.com or call 211.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: Berkeley is celebrating one of its own -- author and playwright Thornton Wilder -- onstage at Aurora Theatre and now at the library.

In conjunction with Aurora's staging of "Wilder Times," a quartet of one-act plays," the library is hosting "Wilder and Wilder Times," a free program at 6:30 p.m. at the in the third floor community room of the Central Library, 2090 Kittredge St.

"After graduating from Berkeley High School, Wilder mastered the dramatic form, won three Pulitzer Prizes, and left his mark on the pages of 20th century American theater history forever," the library notes.

The program will feature an interactive discussion with Michael Mansfield, Aurora Theatre education director.

Details: 510-981-6241.

  • Fresh off its appearance at the Home Front Festival in Richmond, the Contra Costa Chorale will hold its holiday concert "Hallelujah!" in performances at two area churches.

    The program of works by Handel, Berger, Mendelssohn and other composers will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Grace Lutheran Church, 15 Santa Fe Ave. in El Cerrito and at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at Clinton Avenue Baptist Church, 3017 Clinton Ave. in Richmond.

    Tickets, available at the door, are $15 general, $12 students/seniors/disabled. Children under 12 are free. Details: www.ccchorale.org.

  • Manzanita Charter Middle School will celebrate its new home at 2925 Technology Court in Richmond (near the former West County Times building) with a ribbon-cutting and a community pancake breakfast and holiday crafts fair on Dec. 1.

    Breakfast (a $5 donation) will be served from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the ribbon-cutting is at 9 a.m.

    To RSVP, send an email to fundrasing@manzy.org.

  • Tickets are on sale for one of the most popular and festive events of the season, the 15th annual Senior Winter Ball, presented by the Richmond Commission on Aging at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.

    The gala includes a light supper, socializing and dancing to the Junius Courtney Big Band, along with a dance contest, line dancing and a no-host bar and raffle, all for $20 advance or $25 at the door.

    Tickets are moving well, reports Eli Williams of the Commission on Aging. To get yours, go to the Richmond Recreation Complex at 3230 Macdonalod Ave. or call 510-620-6793.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.