Residents can participate in evacuation drill


If a major catastrophe such as fire, flood or earthquake strikes Southern California, Canyon Lake will be ready to house and care for evacuees. Tomorrow, February 25, the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee (CLEPC) will hold a Shelter Drill to aid in the training of evacuation workers and familiarizing all who participate with the mechanics of evacuating to a safe shelter. Patrol officers and radio personnel will assist, as well as students earning community service credit.

The pretend catastrophe will happen Saturday morning. Anyone wishing to participate by pretending to be injured or homeless should go to the gymnasium of Canyon Lake Community Church after 9 a.m. Bringing children and pets is encouraged. The church has agreed to be the Canyon Lake shelter since there is no other building in the area capable of housing, feeding and providing sanitation (including showers) for large numbers of citizens. FEMA has very well defined requirements for evacuation shelters.

Emergency Preparedness volunteers will prepare the facility for the drill. Two volunteers from Animal Friends of the Valleys be on hand to help register and care for pets. Volunteers playing the role of evacuees with pets and children can go any time between 9 and 12. Pets may be brought in carriers or on leashes to the pet care area. There will be a facility staffed by nurses for the injured and those in wheel chairs or otherwise unable to care for themselves, as well as an area for children.

Food, including snacks and a light lunch, will be provided by CLEPC. The committee appreciates all volunteer workers, AFV members and church officers and members for their assistance, especially Paul Augustine, grounds-keeper/custodian, who will set up tables, chairs, videos and the kitchen.

By 1 p.m., volunteer workers will be closing their sections and returning property to storage places or to the owners who have loaned equipment for this event. The area will be clear and cleaned up to the satisfaction of the church authorities.

"A successful drill can surely lead to the safety and comfort of more citizens in case of a real emergency," say organizers. "This drill will be a good practice for families who would be affected by anything like a major earthquake in Southern California."

The CLEPC chair is Nancy Carroll, recently recognized as Citizen of the Year. Drill chairs are Ruth Ann Ferris and Kay Van Rooy.