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.
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?