Emergency Response Systems in Ventura County and Surrounding Areas

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VC Alert is a free service provided by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and participating cities. It launched in January 2012.

All 10 cities in Ventura County utilize the VC Alert system - Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Thousand Oaks, Ventura and Simi Valley as well as unincorporated areas of Ventura County.

The VC Alert database includes all listed and unlisted landline telephone numbers serviced by AT&T and Verizon.  If you would like to ensure that you will be contacted on your home phone, cellular phone, work phone, TTY device, email, fax or text messaging, you must register that information using the opt in VC Alert portal. All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential.

VC Alert alerts residents about emergencies and other important community news.  The system enables officials to provide essential information quickly when there is a threat to the health or safety of Ventura County residents. To learn more and to register online, visit www.vcalert.org or call 805.648.9283.

The City of Westlake Village uses Blackboard Connect for telephone emergency response recordings for hazards, warnings, evacuations, updates, etc. Land lines are already in the database but you may register additional lines. westlakevillage.bbcportal.com. More info at www.wlv.org/191/Emergency-Notifications.

The City of Agoura Hills also uses Blackboard Connect for emergency response services at cityofagourahills.bbcportal.com/Entry. More info at www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/i-want-to/sign-up/connect-cty. There’s also a call-in emergency information line available at 818.597.7301.

City of Calabasas residents are also encouraged to sign up for emergency updates through its Blackboard Connect system at calabasase911.bbcportal.com/Entry. There’s also a call-in emergency info line available at 818.224.1600.

The City of Malibu’s call-in emergency hotline is 310.456.9982. The city's radio station is WPTD AM 1620. The City of Malibu has its own emergency alerts system at member.everbridge.net/index/453003085613099

Los Angeles County residents in Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, etc. can sign up for Alert LA County. a free mass notification system for Los Angeles County residents at www.lacounty.gov/emergency/alert-la.

Ready Ventura County is a local emergency response planning and information reporting site that is used extensively during local emergencies. www.readyventuracounty.org

Ventura County emergency alert radio stations: KVTA 1590 AM, KHAY 100.7 FM, KMLA 103.7 FM (SPANISH)

Where to Find Ventura County Emergency Updates on Thomas Fire in Ventura County

The Thomas Fire as seen from the Conejo Valley (Photo Credit: L. David Irete).

The Thomas Fire as seen from the Conejo Valley (Photo Credit: L. David Irete).

The Thomas Fire was first reported on Monday night around 6:30 p.m. in Santa Paula, in the vicinity of Steckel Park and Thomas Aquinas College near the 150 (Ojai Road). Due to gale force Santa Ana winds, the fire spread quickly overnight to over 55,000 acres in less than 24 hours in Santa Paula, Ojai and Ventura.

As of Tuesday night, December 5, the "Thomas Fire" has burned over 150 structures, including the Hawaiian Village Apartments in Ventura

Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County today as a result of the fire. (He also issued an emergency proclamation today for the Creek and Rye fires in Los Angeles County.) 

Text the United Way of Ventura County at UWVC to 41444 to donate to Thomas Fire victims; 100% of the donations will go directly to those affected by the fires.

Schools have been closed Tuesday in Ventura County and on Wednesday the following schools are slated for closure due to the wildfires:

  • CSU Channel Islands
  • Nearly all K-12 schools in Ventura County, including Conejo Valley USD, Fillmore USD, Moorpark USD, Ojai USD, Pleasant Valley SD, Santa Paula USD, Ventura USD, Simi Valley USD, Oxnard Elementary and Union High School Districts and other schools listed at www.vcoe.org.
  • UPDATE: The following districts will be closed the rest of the week (12/7-12/8): Briggs Elementary School District, Hueneme Elementary School District, Mesa Union Elementary SD, Mupu Elementary SD, Ocean View Elementary SD, Ojai USD, Oxnard Elementary SD, Oxnard Union HS District, Pleasant Valley SD, Rio Elementary SD, Santa Clara Elementary SD, Ventura USD.
  • UPDATE: As of 2:30PM 12/6, school is planned for Simi Valley and Conejo Valley Unified School Districts.

Here's where to go for updates:

First and foremost, visit readyventuracounty.org for updates, mandatory evacuation areas, voluntary evacuations, evacuation shelters, school closures, road closures and other information.

If you are a Twitter user, the Ventura County Fire Department Public Information Officer provides periodic updates via Tweets at twitter.com/VCFD_PIO. The VCFD Twitter page also provides updates and some useful "Retweets" from other sources at twitter.com/VCFD.

Local area newspaper sites have Twitter and Facebook feeds that may come in handy:

Among TV news sites, I've found ABC 7 to have some great coverage abc7.com.

Subscribe to VC Alert, a free serviced utilized by all 10 cities in Ventura County as well as unincorporated areas for emergency updates. Text VCALERT to 313131 to register.

Cal Fire posts updates on its site at www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Programs in Ventura County

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The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using this training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in the community.

The Ventura County Fire Department in coordination with FEMA have joined together to assist local residents with disaster preparedness education and training. Visit the VCFD CERT Facebook page by clicking here.

GET YOURSELF TRAINED! IT'S FREE! AND YOU COULD HELP SAVE LIVES IN AN EMERGENCY!

CLICK HERE for a schedule of upcoming CERT classes in Ventura County.

CERT training programs throughout Ventura County and adjacent areas:

FEMA Ready.gov Website Provides Emergency Preparedness Tips

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched Ready.gov to educate and prepare Americans for emergencies, both natural and man-made.  Three key sections of the site are maintaining an emergency supply kit, making a plan and being informed.

Here are FEMA's recommendations for a kit of food, water and supplies to last at least 3 days per person should rescue workers not be able to get to you right away after a disaster/emergency.

  • At least 3 days of water per person, consisting of at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
  • At least 3 days of non-perishable food per person. Things like ready-to-eat canned items, protein or fruit bars, cereal or granola, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, canned juices, high energy foods, food for infants, etc.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit with 2 pairs of gloves, sterile dressings, cleansing agent/soap/towelettes, antibiotic and burn ointments, bandages, eye wash solution, thermometer, prescription items (other items to consider...scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly, aspirin, anti-diarrheal, antacid, laxative)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air; plastic sheeting and duct tape for shelter
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener if you have canned food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with charger

Other items to consider:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash and change
  • Emergency reference materials, first aid manual, etc.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

But don't stop with this list! Visit Ready.gov to learn more about emergency preparedness!

Ventura County Recognizes September as National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and the County of Ventura is joining the nationwide effort to encourage individuals, families, businesses and organizations to prepare for emergencies by getting a kit, making a plan, staying informed and getting involved in their local community.

At 10:00 a.m. on September 10, 2013, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors will proclaim September as National Preparedness Month in Ventura County.

Preparedness is important because in the event of a local emergency, Ventura County residents may need to be self-reliant for at least three days without access to electricity, water service, or food. “Being prepared is a shared responsibility and everyone should do their part,” said Kevin McGowan, Assistant Director of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services. “Emergencies will happen, so I urge residents to be proactive and get prepared before disasters strike”.

Ventura County residents can take simple steps to be better prepared for disasters by making an emergency supply kit, developing a family communications plan, staying informed of the local hazards and getting involved in our community.

CLICK HERE for an Emergency Supply List.

For more information on how to be better prepared, visit the Ready Ventura County website at www.readyventuracounty.org as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyVC) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ReadyVC) for weekly preparedness tips, news and events.