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Get Ready- Emergency Preparedness for the Canal Community

August 21, 2019

Canal Alliance is working in partnership with PG&E to help our Latino communities to be prepared for a variety of situations that could have devastating effects on our neighborhoods and our livelihoods.

After consecutive wildfire seasons that have destroyed thousands of homes, businesses, and communities throughout Northern California, the responsibility of creating fire-safe neighborhoods and resilient communities must be shared by all Californians. Unfortunately, the threat of a wildfire poses unique challenges for low-income, predominantly-immigrant communities such as the Canal.

Aerial view of the Canal District in San Rafael, CA.

With one of the highest population densities in the County, the Canal is built around multiple-unit housing and mixed-zoning neighborhoods with limited points of entry and egress. If our community is not prepared for an emergency, the effects of a natural disaster would be catastrophic and could lead to the displacement of thousands of low-income families and the loss of hundreds of businesses that are essential to our local economy.

Canal Alliance is committed to providing education, resources, and up-to-date information that will help our community get prepared for some of the greatest threats to their families and their homes. We have created a collection of Emergency Preparedness resources that contain actionable steps that Canal residents can take to make a plan in the event of an emergency, power shut off or natural disaster. All of our resources are provided by our partners and friends at PG&E, FireSafe Marin and GetReady Marin.

Where to start?

We have encouraged families to create a Family Plan in the event of Immigration Enforcement activity in the past and when it comes to being prepared for an emergency, it can be as easy as adding a few more steps to your existing family plan.

1. Update your contact information with emergency messaging services.

NIXLE– This service provides updates on safety issues, road closures, police activity and emergency notifications in your ZIP CODE. No personal information outside of your phone number and zip code are required.

PSPS Alerts– If you are a PG&E customer, you can sign up for available alerts to prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoffs by calling 1-877-900-0743. (This is for ZIP CODE notices only- PG&E account holders can update their alert settings by logging onto their PG&E account).

Canal Alliance Mobile App– Be sure to turn on your notifications to receive important updates specific to Canal Alliance and our communities.

2. Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit

In addition to having all important documentation, medical information, and emergency contact information all in one place, every family should have some emergency supplies on hand in the event of a power outage, an emergency or evacuation:

For a full list of what should be included in your emergency kit, visit our Resources Page.

3. Identify a place to meet in case you’re separated.

In the event of an emergency, Canal Alliance is prepared to mobilize volunteers and staff to provide resources and support at our offices at 91 Larkspur Street in the heart of the Canal. Canal Alliance can be identified as a meeting location for your family.

If it is not safe to do so because our offices are also affected by the emergency, a second location should be identified that all members of your family can meet at. In the Canal, locations such as Pickleweed Community Center, Bahia Vista Elementary School and Marin Community Clinics are all familiar locations.

What’s next?

After you’ve updated an emergency plan for your family, it’s important to discuss it and practice your plan so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.

For more support in getting your family, home, and community prepared for an emergency, attend a local preparedness event, attend a CERT Training in your neighborhood or organize a Neighborhood Response Group before an emergency occurs.

If you have questions about how to find additional resources in our community, please contact Canal Alliance at 415.454.2640

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