Michael Woodard, Emergency Services Coordinator
Should a large-scale emergency or natural disaster strike, City staff — in coordination with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Hidden Hills CERT team — is prepared to render a variety of aid. The City’s main role would be to serve as the main hub of public information and coordination of resources.
The City’s main tool to send out emergency messages will be through the Blackboard Connect system. All residents with a traditional landline through AT&T should be preloaded into the system. Residents who receive phone services through Spectrum or only use a mobile device are not preloaded into the system and are strongly encouraged to log onto the City’s Blackboard Connect web portal (link to portal) and create or update their profile regardless if they believe they are preloaded into the system. This ensures that all residents’ contact information is current, including mobile numbers and email addresses.
Residents may also sign up for emergency alerts for Los Angles County through AlertLA.
Hidden Hills CERT Team
The Hidden Hills CERT Team is a group of highly trained resident volunteers that is prepared to assist the City during a large-scale emergency or natural disaster. If you are interested in learning more about CERT, please contact Michael Woodard, Hidden Hills Emergency Services Coordinator or click HERE to be directed to the Los Angeles County Fire Department CERT page.
Emergency Preparedness Starts at Home
Emergency preparedness begins at home. Police and Fire agencies train year-round for the “next” event. The City has preparedness plans in place and has recently increased emergency response preparations, all residents should, too. It goes beyond having an emergency kit. Below are several examples of efforts you as a homeowner can do to better prepare your family and property.
Fire Hazardous Landscape
Take a look at what plant material you have on your property. Do you have defensible space? Do you have dead or dry vegetation within 30 feet of your home? Do you keep a wood pile near your home? The Fire Department has identiﬁed 5 trees and 1 plant as “High-Hazard” Plants: Eucalyptus, Juniper, Palm, Pine, and Pampas grass. If you have any of these species, consider replacing them with something less hazardous, if not ensure they are properly trimmed and maintained.
Harden Your Home
Take steps to ensure your home is ready for a potential wildﬁre. Some examples include:
- Address is clearly visible in front of your house
- Chimneys and vents are properly screened to prevent embers from entering your home
- Driveways should provide adequate access for emergency vehicles
- Store necessary equipment on your property or in your garage–examples include hoses hooked up to water, ﬁre extinguishers, shovels
- Keep your property clear of debris, especially combustible debris. If there is a threatening wildﬁre remove all ﬂammable (baskets, furniture, propane tanks, etc.) away from your home
- Consider purchasing an emergency pool pump that could provide water in an emergency
Create an Emergency Action Plan at Home
It is critical to sit down with your family and put together a plan. Do you have a meeting point for your family? If you have school-aged children, who is picking them up? Do you have a communication plan including out of state relatives to check in with? Do you have an emergency kit? Remember the 6 P’s:
- People and pets
- Papers – phone numbers and important documents
- Prescriptions – vitamins and eyeglasses
- Plastic – credit cards, ATM, and cash
- Personal computers, hard drives, and flash drives
Do you have a plan for your animals? Can you safely transport your dog or cat? Do you have a horse that you can safely move out of the City? If not, have you arranged for emergency transport?
Be Prepared for Potential Emergencies
An emergency can happen at any time. You can help your family be prepared for any emergency situation with a safety preparedness plan, some basic supplies, and advance planning. Whether an earthquake, storm, or wildfire impacts our City, preparedness will help everyone cope better and stay safer.
Be Ready with Portable Power
A portable power station can help power small devices for a limited time to help you be more resilient during an emergency. If you purchase a qualifying model, you could receive a $50 rebate from SCE. Search Eligible Batteries
Are You Prepared for a Power Outage?
Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) by Southern California Edison (SCE)
When there are extreme and potentially dangerous weather conditions such as high winds, SCE may temporarily shut off power to prevent their electric system from becoming the source of fire ignition. During a PSPS, residents can use this Outage Map to search for impacted areas and additional information. If your power is shut off, SCE will restore power as soon as the weather conditions permit, and crews have inspected the power lines to confirm it is safe to restore power. For status on an outage, please sign up to receive alerts, or call 1-800-655-4555.
Steps to Take Before a PSPS:
- Update your contact information with SCE
- Sign up for PSPS alerts
- Create a safety plan for all members of your family, including pets
- Prepare an emergency supply kit
- Stock supplies for a week – including flashlights, first aid supplies, food, water, and cash
- Fully charge your mobile phone
- Make sure any backup power sources are ready to safely operate
- Have a battery-powered or crank radio
- Stock up on the right batteries for items you rely on
- Keep a full tank of gas in your car
- Practice opening and closing your garage door manually
- Keep emergency numbers handy
- Plan for any medical needs
As we approach the warm summer months, annual brush clearance becomes an important topic in Hidden Hills. Brush clearance is important because it creates defensible space around homes and properties.
Brush Clearance Inspections
Starting May 1st, the fire department began brush clearance inspections of approximately 3,000 properties in Hidden Hills and Calabasas. Upon inspection, the department will issue a report to any property owner not in compliance, and will allow 30 days to correct violations. After 30 days, the department will return to complete a second inspection. Firefighters are moving as quickly as they can through their rounds of inspections, which are expected to continue through late June.
Return of the Goats
You may remember seeing the grazing goats at work last July. They were hired by the City to extend the required brush clearance along the City’s northern and eastern borders, which back up to Mountain View Estates and MRCA open space. Mountain View Estates has begun the required brush clearance along their borders and will soon clear the Hidden Hills side (behind Jim Bridger). By mid-June, the goats are expected to arrive. They will clear 200 ft. of vegetation on the MRCA side of Hidden Hills and an additional 100 ft. on the Mountain View Estates side.
For more information, contact City Hall at 818-888-9281.