PIEDMONT -- You can prepare for the Big One, and sample homegrown delicacies all at the same place -- Piedmont's Harvest Festival on Sept. 30.
The city's public safety committee has been hard at work contacting agencies involved in public safety to spread the word at the festival about disaster preparedness and ways residents can protect themselves and their homes.
"The most important way to get our message out is to piggyback on the harvest festival," said committee Chairman Michael Gardner.
"We've been meeting regularly and invited some very qualified participants and vendors." The committee was re-formed in April after the City Council in March decided a public safety committee should continue to do its important work -- keeping citizens abreast of crime prevention and public safety issues.
"One focus (at the festival) is trying to get residents to sign up for neighborhood crime prevention and disaster preparedness meetings," Gardner said.
Piedmont officers continue to knock on doors and leave their business cards to encourage residents to do so.
Visitors to the festival will receive all the information they need to be prepared in case of any disaster -- from earthquake, to fire to large-scale power outage.
PG&E will be on hand to tell residents how and where to turn off the gas or electricity in case of calamity, or how to deal with a power outage. The Red Cross will explain what services they offer, while
There are tentative commitments from East Bay Municipal Utility District and AT&T to also participate. The committee is hoping to also feature a mobile command center van from the Alameda County Sheriff's office. In case of a large-scale disaster such as earthquake, Alameda County is the top command overseeing the smaller cities, Gardner said.
People at the festival will be able to purchase a big, yellow "Quake Bucket," full of numerous emergency supplies. The company provides a bucket that includes an extensive First Aid kit, toiletries, dust masks, water purification tablets, rope, gloves and 30 pouches of water and food rations with a five-year shelf life. The kit will serve a family of four, and costs $125.
For more details, visit www.myquakebucket.com.
The city used to sell disaster preparedness kits, but no longer does. Residents can add their own supplies to their cache, such as flashlights, crank-powered radios and lanterns.
Interim police Chief Scott Wyatt is enthusiastic about the many safety resources that will be offered at the festival.
"The Piedmont police department will have an officer and police Explorers.... spread the word on Neighborhood Watch meetings and other programs the department offers," Wyatt said.
"They will provide crime prevention information and help people sign up for public safety dispatches," he added. "We hope residents visiting the festival will take a few minutes to talk with their public safety representatives and learn how they can help to keep Piedmont safe."
"It is vitally important that residents are prepared for the next natural disaster," said Councilwoman Margaret Fujioka. "The Disaster Prep Fair at the Harvest Festival will provide a fun and educational way to learn about safety and survival from the experts. This is exactly what I envisioned the Public Safety Committee's role would be to help make our community safer."