The City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department (EMD) and the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council are conducting a neighborhood disaster exercise as part of America’s PrepareAthon on Saturday, April 30, in the Historical West Adams District of South Los Angeles.

This full-scale exercise will simulate a large earthquake, requiring members of the community to actively engage with the scenario, playing the roles of civilian community responders and/or injured survivors. The event will also include participation by local law enforcement, fire fighters, and more. The neighborhood exercise will conclude with a public safety fair, presented by the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council which will feature live music, food trucks, and raffle prizes. All members of the public are encouraged to attend and observe the proceedings.

This event is part of the City’s 5 Steps to Neighborhood Preparedness initiative, which educates citizens about what they can do to prepare their neighborhood for a disaster. Additional information about the 5 Steps program, including a free guide and video, are available at http://www.5steps.la.

The following is a timeline for the day’s events:

9-10 a.m. — Neighborhood civilian response to the disaster

10-11 a.m. — City responders arrive and take control of response to the disaster

10:30 a.m. — Press conference

11 a.m.- 3 p.m. — Public Safety Fair: preparedness information and entertainment

The following city officials and special guests are confirmed speakers for the press conference:

— Herb Wesson, President Los Angeles City Council, District 10

— Alfred Poirier, Interim General Manager Los Angeles Emergency Management Department

— Jeff Reeb, Director of Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management

— Robert Fenton, FEMA Region IX Administrator

— Jeff Camp, President of the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council

“Saying ‘it will never happen’ is not an effective neighborhood disaster response plan,” said Mona Curry, of the EMD. “This full-scale earthquake drill taking place in South Los Angeles, which can be applied to any neighborhood, will allow neighbors to practice responding on their own in the event of a massive earthquake or other type of disaster.”

“The earthquake threat facing Angelenos is unfortunately all too real,” said Robert Fenton. “But instead of throwing up their hands, it’s encouraging to see local individuals and communities determined to be ready to meet that reality. Simulated events and exercises, such as Los Angeles’ 5 Steps PrepareAthon, will be taking place across the country as part of America’s PrepareAthon, and will energize the whole community to embrace individual, family, and community preparedness activities.”

This important community emergency preparedness event is expected to have a very large turnout, and those who wish to volunteer as active participants for the drill can register online at http://www.5steps.la or by phone at (424) 247-1214.

The EMD works to resolve the challenges in emergency management for the four million residents and 400,000 business firms that fall within its jurisdiction. The EMD’s five divisions work with city departments, municipalities, and an array of community-based organizations to ensure that the city and its residents have the resources and information they need to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies, disasters, and other significant events. More information at http://emergency.lacity.org