For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-7008

NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS CAN NOW APPLY FOR DISASTER CACHES

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, January 11, 2012) - Neighborhood and community organizations who are prepared to be self-sufficient in a major disaster can now apply to get free containers stocked with emergency response equipment from the City of Berkeley.

The Office of Emergency Services now has applications available for the 2012 Community Emergency Supply Program application. Measure GG passed in November of 2008 provided funding for a limited number of emergency supply caches to be awarded to neighborhoods or community organizations that show a high degree of preparedness and organization. The Community Emergency Supply Program has been supporting neighborhood organizations with supplies and training since 2003. There are currently 62 City-awarded disaster equipment caches distributed throughout the city.

"It is essential that every household, family, apartment tenant, neighborhood and community group be prepared to survive for five to seven days on their own, until utilities and services can be restored," said Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong. "This program aims to foster awareness and provides neighborhoods and community organizations a goal for a minimum level of readiness to attain.  No one is prepared until everyone is prepared."

The equipment that includes portable generators, fire suppression hoses and nozzles, disaster first aid kit, portable communication radios and other safety equipment.

Caches will be awarded based on several criteria, including geographical distribution across the City, the risk assessment of the neighborhood, and the level of neighborhood involvement in the Community Emergency Response Training program.

The 2012 Community Emergency Supply Program is accepting applications through May 25, 2012. Applications can be picked up at the Fire Department Administrative Offices at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 2nd Floor, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., or online on the Office of Emergency Services web page.

Residents with questions can also contact Khin Chin, in the Office of Emergency Services via email at kchin@cityofberkeley.info or phone, (510) 981-5506.

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