National Safety Weekend discusses emergency preparedness and home security

Photos by Melissa Diaz Hernandez/The Valley Chronicle
Emergency Management Department was one of several entities at the event on Sept. 30.

■ Melissa Diaz Hernandez / Editor

The Hemet Sears parking lot drew residents on Sept. 30 as the company hosted National Safety Weekend. Local public safety organizations were available to provide information and answer questions. Some local restaurants provided food to participants and attendees.
Jodi Mouw, the Sears assistant store manager who coordinated the day of safety, told The Valley Chronicle that it was the Hemet Sears’ inaugural event.
“We reached out to everyone in the community to give safety awareness [tips] – from local businesses to fire, police and the county – to raise awareness for children, elderly and pets in the community,” said Mouw. “We will be doing this event once a year from now on.”
The County of Riverside’s Emergency Management Department (EMD) was there in full-force with Brooke Federico, senior public information specialist, who provided valuable information, including free family emergency communication plan cards. Federico said the cards are a useful tool to help families devise a plan before an emergency occurs.
The card has spaces for emergency meeting places, out-of-town contacts, and important numbers or information for family members. Additional information such as a child’s school, caregivers and workplace all have a spot on the card.
Do you have a three-day survival pack to get you through a disaster? If you don’t, then EMD has information on its website to get you started. Visit to read up on how to store emergency supplies and what to pack.

An example of an emergency kit on display at the Emergency Management Department’s booth. Sample kit items included batteries, flashlight, water, a first aid kit and non-perishable food.

Federico also emphasized the importance of consulting with one’s doctor if you are on prescription medication. An emergency may prevent the ability to fill or refill a prescription, so it’s important to keep at least a few days’ worth in an emergency kit, if possible. Pay close attention to expiration dates.
“Consider your medical needs because that is vital [during emergencies], said Federico. “[It’s also important] to develop support networks with family and friends.”
Did you know that Hemet Police Department volunteers can check on your home while you are out of town on vacation? Simply fill out a form and they will check on your residence five days per week, up to 60 days.
HPD volunteers also provide the public with gun locks, fingerprint children at the east and west substations and maintain a vehicle maintenance team. Volunteers at their booth distributed literature on Halloween safety, community-based policing, cybersafety for kids, burglary prevention and Alzheimer’s/dementia patient registry information.
The Hemet Fire Department brought an engine and firefighters talked with community members about fire prevention and safety.
If you missed the event this year, just remember there are plans for another one next year. However, in the meantime, sign up to receive emergency notifications at

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