The mission of Emergency Management is to support citizens, first responders and City staff in building and sustaining the City’s ability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate the effects of natural disasters, human-caused disasters or acts of terrorism.
Emergency Management is a division of Aliso Viejo Police Services but works closely and meets frequently with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Management Bureau, Orange County Fire Authority, Orange County Health Care Agency, the American Red Cross, ambulance providers, other county departments and agencies and surrounding cities in order to provide the highest possible level of preparedness and coordination when disaster strikes.
Residents of Aliso Viejo enjoy the benefits of the region’s warm, sunny and usually temperate Mediterranean-type of climate and the unique and beautiful landscape that makes Southern California so attractive. However, Southern California’s terrain, climate and geology carry substantial natural hazards as well, and these make the population and the environment vulnerable to many emergencies. Earthquakes, fires, landslides, heat and drought, power failures, storms or floods, pandemic disease or terrorism- we live in a pretty active place!
We’re used to thinking that someone to help us in an emergency is only a 911 call away, and that’s usually true. But the lesson we learn from disasters is that, no matter how modern or advanced we become, we can still be overwhelmed by forces beyond our control. Climate, geology, technology breakdown, even viruses can still hit hard enough to disrupt everything. When that happens, and eventually something will, public safety responders will regroup and respond as quickly as they can. But if a devastating event occurs in the dense population of Southern California, you can see the size of the task awaiting the responders. They won’t be able to help everyone at once!
Have you done anything to reduce the effects of disaster in your home like earthquake-proofing your furnishings or keeping a fire-defensible space around your home? Will you be able to care for yourself and your household until help arrives? Are you ready to live for three days or more without power, water, gas, or grocery stores or other purchases? How will your family reunite if separated or at least keep in contact?
If you’re not ready yet, get started! It can be as simple as clicking one of these links for checklists or readiness information. Every spring, the City holds a Community Emergency Preparedness Academy. You can also take American Red Cross courses or volunteer to coordinate the efforts of your neighborhood. And be sure to register your contact information with AlertOC, the City’s emergency notification system, to receive warnings or instructions when emergencies occur.
We know disasters will strike. When they do, you will be shocked and disoriented- everyone will. But the amount of thought and preparation you put in today can be the difference between helplessness and recovery.
If you would like to request an Emergency Preparedness presentation for your neighborhood, school, organization, and/or business, email DisasterPrep@cityofalisoviejo.com.