In the final report of its year-long term, the Grand Jury blasted Marin County for its lack of disaster preparedness.
Read the report at right.
Between 70 and 80 percent of first-responders live outside the county, according to the report, and some as far away as Sutter, Butte, Kern and Nevada counties. In addition, only about 30 percent of first-responders are on duty at any given time. This means that residents will have to be able to take care of themselves for the first 24 to 72 hours following a large-scale disaster.
There are a number of community-based emergency training programs, including CERT and . These programs will be the first-line of defense following a large earthquake or fire.
However, many of the programs are poorly attended and the Marin County Office of Emergency Services doesn't maintain an electronic database of trained volunteers.
Mill Valley was called out, in the report, as an example of organized emergency planning. Mill Valley divides the town into blocks with block captains and divisions, where trained community volunteers will organize relief efforts within the neighborhoods. The town also practices evacuation drills regularly.
Have you taken an emergency training? Are you prepared to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours following an emergency? What else do you think towns and the county need to do to prepare for a disaster?