The Villa Marina neighborhood hosted—its 11th annual—block party, “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” earlier this month to promote disaster preparedness in the community.

Villa Marina resident Joe Campanella,—who chairs the neighborhood’s disaster preparedness—committee, said the goal of the event is to “wake up and educate—our local community—of how to be prepared and get—involved—in this community effort, so that when the next big earthquake occurs, we are ready.”

“After a significant earthquake of 6.0 or greater, we have less than a two-percent chance of Los Angeles’ emergency response personnel responding during the first three days,” Campanella added. “Emergency personnel, 9-1-1 service and local hospitals will be at their capacity for days. Thus, we need to all prepare ourselves to be self-sufficient during these first critical days after a disaster.”

Campanella said he created the disaster preparedness committee to provide education on preparedness to Villa Marina, and he also set up Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) for local community members. Today, Villa Marina has over 40 CERT trained personnel and the goal is to get over 100 trained by the end of 2010.

“We are so happy to have learned so much from CERT and we feel so much safer now that we are prepared,” neighbors Ferey and Jacqueline Faridian said.

Information on CERT, www.CERT-LA.org/.

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