September is National Preparedness Month

September 6, 2011 marked the eighth annual National Preparedness Month informing the public that preparation policy for natural disasters starts at the local level. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency management Agency, National Preparedness Month encourages everyone to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.

At the request of President and Superintendent of Santa Monica College, Dr. Chui L. Tsang, SMC has joined local, state, and federal agencies this year to provide a series of workshops that would cover the science of natural disasters from emergency preparedness to the process of volunteering for a disaster that could occur in the future.

During a Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, September 6, Tsang explained the Safety Preparedness Committee's idea of bringing this crucial National Preparedness month to SMC. "They think it is good to make use of this (National) Preparedness Month to highlight the activities you will see here on campus," said Tsang. "We have some catching up to do."

According to administrative assistant Michelle Harrison, the staff plans to take classes and a test to be on this committee. "Our college is in the process of building this committee," said Harrison during the board meeting.

On Welcome Day, staff members were given a satchel of preparedness items that included a flashlight, building evacuation handbooks, and an array of personal survival items.

Harrison added that, "the staff attended an information session on things regarding Red Cross."

"There's a plan of where I am and where I am supposed to be," said Tsang during his explanation of a potential emergency at SMC. "We will look into finding the most appropriate person to put in command for each particular emergency, and it won't always be me."

Tsang concluded the meeting emphasizing why he thought the committee was good and that SMC shouldn't rely on a small group or individuals.

"Looking at the chart, different people are assigned to tasks," said Tsang. "There are always backup people assigned to each task (and) the most appropriate person matching the skill is assigned."