The Cities of Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, and Simi Valley are working together to develop and implement an evacuation planning and preparedness outreach program for residents of the three eastern Ventura County communities in alignment with the 2023 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on Thursday, October 19. Targeted residents will receive an emergency preparedness booklet in the mail advising them in English and Spanish how to best plan for an emergency and where to get local emergency information before, during, and after an incident. Additionally, each community will be sharing emergency preparedness tips on their respective websites for those who do not receive the mailer.
Over the past several years, all three communities and have been impacted by numerous emergency events, including the Thomas Fire, Easy Fire, Woolsey Fire, flooding, and wind events. Recognizing that all three communities are increasingly facing events where evacuations of impacted areas are a critical component of emergency management, the Cities of Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, and Simi Valley are working together to develop an east county plan for evacuation efforts.
Obtaining public input will be a key ingredient for informing regional evacuation plans and outreach efforts. “We really want to hear about our residents’ current level of emergency preparedness, plus any special concerns they may have for specific areas or needs,” said Chris Enegren, Moorpark Mayor, adding: “Railroad crossings, bridges, and even zoos can present unique challenges that we can prepare for ahead of time.”
“When it comes to facing the challenges of fire, flood, or earthquake, we find that it’s not just our cities that must be prepared, but each individual resident and business owner. This grant-funded initiative, in conjunction with the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on October 19th, aims to ignite a sense of preparedness in the hearts of all our residents. It is our collective duty to be ready for whatever challenges come our way,” said Kevin McNamee, Mayor of Thousand Oaks.
This joint evacuation planning and preparedness outreach program is funded by a $98,976 grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development for emergency management, planning, and public safety projects. The goal of this effort is to update evacuation plans and promote individual preparedness for emergencies. In addition to providing information about emergency preparedness, a critical component is a resident focused tri-city survey about emergency preparedness and obtaining input into the regional evacuation plan. The survey is now available online in both English and Spanish.
To further these goals, each City will:
- Survey its residents to inform the development of a regional evacuation plan.
- Create and implement a regional evacuation plan and evacuation procedures.
- Mail a bilingual emergency and evacuation preparedness handbook to targeted residents.
- Support and promote the statewide annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on October 19.
- Schedule Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) classes, in both English and Spanish.
- Train City and partner agency staff to implement evacuation plans and procedures.
“Keeping people across the region safe and prepared during emergencies is a top priority for our communities, and I am proud to work together with Moorpark and Thousand Oaks to do so,” said Simi Valley Mayor Fred Thomas. “During an emergency, first responders will have their hands full, so the more prepared residents can be, the safer our communities will be,” he added. Visit the Simi Valley Office of Emergency Services’ booth at the Simi Valley Street Fair on October 28 at the Simi Valley Town Center for more information and resources.
Emergency Preparedness Resources are also available, including a downloadable Emergency Preparedness Packet on each of the city’s respective emergency management web pages: