The Los Angeles City Fire Department’s Westside Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has scheduled a free presentation featuring representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5 at the Fire Station 5 training facility in Westchester.

Josie Arcurio, director of FEMA’s Southern California field office in Pasadena, will lead the presentation entitled “Demystifying FEMA” and explain the role that the federal agency plays in preparing for and responding to disasters, particularly those most likely to strike Southern California, according to one of the volunteer CERT coordinators.

Arcurio has been with FEMA and its predecessor agencies since 1977. She has worked in nine of 10 FEMA regions and has overseen the delivery of disaster relief assistance in more than 100 major federal disasters and emergency declarations, including service as a member of the command staff for FEMA after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.

After formal remarks by the featured speaker, questions will be taken from audience members.

Fire Station 5 is at 8900 S. Emerson Ave., Westchester. Admission is free, but due to limited seating, those who wish to attend are encouraged to RSVP to

The meeting is sponsored by CERT, representing volunteers in LAFD battalions 4, 9 and 18.

CERT is one of several volunteer organizations that assist LAFD. Its members are trained in emergency first aid and other disaster response skills including fighting small fires, light search and rescue, and triage.