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National Preparedness Month

Joint letter from the California Department of Education and the California Emergency Management Agency to District Superintendents regarding National Preparedness Month.

, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Acting Secretary
3650 Schriever Avenue, Mather, CA 95565

September 2, 2011

Dear District Superintendents:


As east coast residents continue to recover from Hurricane Irene and an unexpected earthquake that rattled the nerves of millions earlier that same week, the timing of September’s National Preparedness Month is extremely relevant. Those of us on the west coast know, all too well, that we are subject to many natural disasters, so it is important for every Californian to take the simple steps now to prepare for emergencies in our homes, schools, businesses, and communities.

The California Department of Education and the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) invite you and your staff to get engaged with several preparedness efforts throughout the month of September.

The Cal EMA Preparedness Month Web page at allows individuals and organizations to find comprehensive information about events, preparedness tips, and how to deliver an “open public” informational preparedness fair using the a special do-it-yourself event toolkit developed by the American Red Cross and Cal EMA. Please share this information with your colleagues, friends and family.

On September 7, 2011, at 9 a.m. on the north and west steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, a free outreach fair will be held featuring dozens of booths represented by various emergency response partners. Some of the participants will include the American Red Cross, Target, Cal FIRE, UC Davis, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, Community Emergency Response Teams, BloodSource, National Weather Service, Department of Transportation, California Highway Patrol, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, California Department of Public Health, and Cal Volunteers.

On September 20, 2011, at 9 a.m. at the Los Angeles Exposition Park in Los Angeles, there will be another informational/educational fair featuring booths hosted by the American Red Cross, Target, Time Warner, Bank of America, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, and first responder agencies from throughout the southern region. The event will be held in conjunction with “Free Admission Tuesday” at the Natural History Museum, which provides another great reason to attend the event.

On September 24, 2011, at 10 a.m. at the Bayview/Hunter’s Point in San Francisco, the Bay Area Chapter of the American Red Cross will host the “Bay Area Be Prepared!” outreach informational fair. This is another free event where the public can obtain important information about how to prepare for disasters.

Free emergency preparedness kits will be distributed by Target, Cal EMA, and the American Red Cross on a first-come, first-served basis at all three events. Each event provides a great opportunity to benefit from a one-stop shop opportunity to get prepared. Additionally, Cal EMA has posted preparedness tips and do-it-yourself resources to help protect yourself, your family, and your property on the Cal EMA Web site located at

Being prepared is an important responsibility that we all share. We hope that you will join us at one of these events and engage your staff in a discussion about the importance of being prepared before a disaster strikes.

If you have any questions regarding emergency preparedness or if you would like to discuss these efforts further, please contact Dawn Mehlhaff, Acting Assistant Secretary, Policy and Strategic Initiatives Office, by phone at 916-322-2720 or by e-mail at, or Kelly Huston, Assistant Secretary, Office of Media Relations and Public Information, by phone at 916-607-7657 or by e-mail at


Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education

Mike Dayton
Acting Secretary
California Emergency Management Agency

Questions:   Dawn Mehlhaff | | 916-322-2720
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