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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Avery Webb, Deputy Fire Chief, (510) 981-5501


Berkeley, California (Monday, August 25, 2014) - In light of Sunday's 6.0 magnitude Napa Earthquake, the City of Berkeley Fire Department would like to remind all community members to take steps to prepare yourself and your neighborhood for earthquakes and other disasters.

  1. Take a community emergency response training (CERT) class.   
    • Individual classes are available monthly and three-day academies are offered quarterly.
    • Online registration for CERT classes is now available at http://www.cityofberkeley.info/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=82596
    • For individuals who do not have access to the online registration site, they can call the Berkeley Fire Department at 510-981-5605 to register.

    2.   Organize your neighborhood block and apply for free disaster programs including.

    • Dumpster Program - a free incentive program that encourages neighbors to get involved in disaster preparedness by providing the neighborhood group with a free dumpster to remove trash and debris. To qualify for a dumpster, the block must have two organized meetings focused on disaster preparedness with the fire and the public health or police departments. http://cityofberkeley.info/Dumpster/
    • The Disaster Equipment Cache Program provides organized neighborhood or community groups with emergency disaster equipment including generators, portable 2-way radios, prying tools, fire hoses with nozzles, and first aid equipment. Each group must complete specific CERT training classes or a CERT academy to apply for the disaster cache. The next application period will open in January 2015. http://www.cityofberkeley.info/fire/OES/Expected to launch in the fall of 2014, the City of Berkeley will begin its Free Automatic Gas Shutoff Valve program.  This incentive program will provide a free automatic gas shutoff valve to single-family dwelling residents who participate in disaster preparedness training sessions.
    • In the fall of 2014, the City of Berkeley expects to begin a Free Automatic Gas Shutoff Valve program.  The incentive program would provide a free automatic gas shutoff valve to single-family dwelling residents who participate in disaster preparedness training sessions. 
  1. Sign up for the Citywide Emergency Exercise on October 18th.

All community members are welcomed to join the exercise at any level.  Participants will have a handbook describing a number of activities that could take 5 minutes to 2 hours. Participants will receive exercise objectives, sample scenarios, tips and directions on how to design an exercise and customize it to the scale appropriate to the number of participants. No previous CERT training is required. To register for the exercise or for more information, visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/prepare/

  1. Sign up for the Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS). Anyone who lives or works in Berkeley and uses a cell phone or voice over Internet Phone (VoIP) is encouraged to register for the Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS). 

The BENS may be used by emergency officials to push out emergency information via phones, text, or emails.  Individuals who desire to receive emergency notifications via text or emails, must register their contact information in advance by signing up at www.CityofBerkeley.info/BENS.

In addition to the BENS, the City may distribute emergency or important information on the following communication systems:

    • Radio 1610 AM - preset your AM radios to include this channel for emergency information and turn out your AM radio to listen for important information.
    • City of Berkeley website.  Subscribe to the City of Berkeley information page and receive email updates when the City of Berkeley webpage is updated with important information. Subscribe by visiting: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/CABERKE/subscriber/new?topic_id=CABERKE_111  
    • Emergency Alert System (via local radio or television stations). When an earthquake occurs, tune into your local radio (KCBS 740 AM, KGO 810 AM), or your local television news station for information. 
    • Nixle is a communication platform that allows registered users to receive important messages from the Berkeley Police Department. To sign up to receive messages via email or text, visit: www.nixle.com/register  
  1. Short on time? Learn the 5-critical steps and take action.

Schedule a 5-critical steps presentation with the Berkeley Fire Department for your neighborhood or community group. Contact the Berkeley Fire Department at 510-981-5605 to schedule a free, 30-minute presentation. For more training information and access to training materials, please visit www.cityofberkeley.info/OES


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