National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” More information on this awareness campaign can be found on the U.S. Government’s National Preparedness Month | Ready.gov website.
By taking advantage of available resources, including those offered by the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA), agencies can prepare in the following ways:
- Training: Emergency Preparedness, Earthquake Preparedness, Fire Prevention, CPR, and First Aid Training can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. Agencies should be aware of certain trainings that are required to be completed to qualify for FEMA funds in the event of a disaster. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for those with emergency management responsibilities as well as the public. All are offered free of charge to those who qualify for enrollment. For a complete listing of courses, visit https://training.fema.gov/is/.
- Inspect for Safety: Inspect agency-owned facilities for emergency-related exposures, including clear evacuation routes, storage practices, securing furniture or other large objects from falling, proper lighting, and emergency supplies.
- Develop Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plans: Cal/OSHA-compliant programs should be in writing and cover the designated actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety from all types of emergencies. Elements of the plan include the following:
- Emergency escape procedures and emergency escape route assignments;
- Procedures to be followed by employees who remain in their positions to operate critical operations before they evacuate;
- Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation has been completed;
- Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are able to perform them;
- The preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies;
- Names or regular job titles of persons or departments who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan;
- An employee alarm system that complies with Article 165 of Cal/OSHA’s Fire Protection Regulations;
- The types of evacuations to be used in emergency circumstances; and
- Evaluate Applicable Insurance Coverages: Evaluate the city’s coverage for emergency-related perils. The California JPIA’s property program includes all-risk coverage for real and personal property, with the option of adding earthquake and flood coverage for damages or loss of use due to these perils. Additional information can be found here: Insured Programs – California JPIA (cjpia.org).
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.