Submitted by CCCL_Elizabethf
The Library recently hosted an event all about wildfire preparedness with the League of Women Voters, Diablo Valley and West Contra Costa chapters. Brentwood City Council Member Karen Rarey moderated the event, which included presentations by Chris Bachman, Contra Costa Fire Protection District (CCCFPD), Emily Rogan from the nonprofit United Policyholders, and Mark van Gorder and Les Putnam from PG&E. Mr. Bachman discussed the conditions making this year an extremely challenging one, with drought and higher temperatures topping the list. Contra Costa County has fared better than many areas, as CCCPFD has added additional staff and equipment to combat fires, and evacuation planning for residents to avoid being trapped during a wildfire event. Mr. Bachman shared several useful documents, including his PowerPoint presentation, a "Wildfire is Coming. Are You...Ready?" guide, and Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide. Ms. Rogan stressed the importance of storing important information such as a home inventory video and insurance documents in the cloud. If obtaining insurance is a challenge, she suggested going through an insurance broker, who will have information about all kinds of insurance plans available to you - more than just the major ones you see advertised on TV. Mr. van Gorder and Mr. Putnam talked about power shutoff events and the need to keep communities safe during high winds and dry conditions during their presentation. They covered why power shutoffs are necessary, and how they notify customers if a shutoff is imminent. PG&E offers Customer Service Centers in high-risk areas which provide basic technology support like wifi and batteries, and which offer water, snacks and a cool place to wait out during a PSPS event. The League of Women Voters has created a useful Wildfire Resources List which links to sites offering information about wildfire preparedness.
This short summary is just a brief outline of what was covered in the program. Check out the full program on our YouTube channel to get more information and to be prepared in the event of a wildfire.