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  • Writer's picturePaul Grisanti

District 29 news plus planning and preparing

Exciting news! I was just informed by Evelin Weber of the Malibu Foundation that Sheila Keuhl put forward a Board of Supervisors Resolution to waive $2,200,000 of Waterworks Dist. #29 fire rebuild fees. This is not a total waiver but it is a large percentage of the total fees that are applicable. I will have more information next week but am told the deal is done. Sheila’s office has pulled out all the stops to support your rebuild. Partial refunds will be available to those who have already paid.

Years ago I was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout. Their motto “Be Prepared” is indelibly imprinted on my brain. Over my last 41+ years in Malibu I have been struck by what good advice that is.

During Woolsey, Sara and I did not evacuate. We were fortunate to be in a neighborhood that lost power only intermittently. Our neighborhood had a few “cleaning out the freezers” joint BBQ’s. When we had power, we cooked up other dry and canned ingredient meals and froze containers of water to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold during the intermittent outages. Our “no cooking required supplies” were appreciated. We are both in the habit of keeping our gas tanks over ½ full, so we had mobility while we waited for the gas stations to reopen. We had several large containers of water, so we were able to manually fill the toilet tanks and continue to use the facilities while the water was off. Battery powered lanterns, tools and radios got a workout. We maintain a minimum 2-week supply of prescriptions and supplements at all times so that was not an issue.

We were not prepared on several other levels and have been trying to rectify them. We have since purchased a gas BBQ. A new dual fuel generator that can use gasoline or propane tanks is on the wish list along with several sections of Fire hose with appropriate connectors for our local hydrants and nozzles. Our closets now have the ever so fashionable and appropriate wildland fire clothing. I think the most important move we have made is to work to increase our knowledge so that we can assist our friends and neighbors. We have both taken the Community Emergency Resource Team or “CERT” course and Red Cross First Aid courses. I have applied to join Arson Watch, which will be a stepping stone into Malibu West’s Volunteer fire team.

Malibu’s Public Safety Department plans for future emergencies and sponsors many useful classes to build a more resilient community. They have three major events in the next month and a half where we plan to participate.

Thursday, August 1stfrom 3:30 to 4:30 PM they are sponsoring a Disaster Preparedness class for Seniors and older adults. Call 310-456-2489 ext. 368 or email sberger@malibucity.orgso they will be expecting you. Those 55 or older will receive a free rolling backpack emergency kit. Photo ID is required because we all look so young in Malibu. There is no charge.

You can also sign up now for the next CERT class series that begins on September 5that 6PM and meets on seven consecutive Thursdays. We enjoyed our classes and look forward to assisting in these classes and further improving our skills and value to the community. You’ll learn about the best ways to help your community and the steps Malibu has taken to be ready for the next crisis. The city has several storage containers with emergency food, water and other supplies that would be useful situated around Malibu for any emergency. CERT classes will teach you how to operate the equipment, set up the emergency shelters and run the distribution centers. You will also be exposed to ham radio as a fallback communications net for the next time cellular service is interrupted. Call 310-456-2489 or email sberger@malibucity.cogto register. It’s free and you will meet some very interesting and capable people.

On September 11 at 6:00 PM Jerry Vandermeulen, Malibu’s Fire Safety Liaison will lead a panel discussion titled “Preparing for Fire: Malibu Residents share their Experiences” followed by an open Q &A. Topics include “Gaining and maintaining situational awareness”, “Benefits of Home Hardening and ember control”, “Effectiveness of defensible space”, “Evacuation preparation” and “Personal preparedness”.

I hope to see you at one, or all these events.

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