Fires, earthquakes, kidnappings, and medical accidents have a few similarities—they are all emergencies, we are probably unprepared for them, and they were all featured at the Palo Alto Safety Faire.
The three main goals of the faire were for citizens to become more aware of emergency preparedness, buy products such as dried food and kits, and to show citizens some of "the stake holders" in emergency preparedness, such as the and City of Palo Alto Fire and .
"We really wanted to show citizens all of our community volunteers, as well as educate them from issues ranging from seismic retrofitting to how to build a first aid kit," said Annette Glanckopf, the co-chair of the event.
Children and adults alike enjoyed exploring the huge emergency vehicles, such as the City of Palo Alto's vehicle, a Red Cross kitchen that serves emergency meals, and the Woodside Fire Department's smoke trailer.
Another vehicle that appeared was a solar powered drinking water purification system. The company, Forever Pure, allows contained water to be completely purified, while it is powered by a mobile solar power generator manufactured by San Leandro-based Renewables West. The two companies joined together to create a unit that could provide clean drinking water without using electricity in case of an emergency.
Palo Alto police and firefighters also had a huge presence at the faire, spreading awareness about various safety issues.
"We are trying to show people smoke detectors of the future, which are much more modern opposed to the old fire detectors which most people have," fireman Nick Penko said. "We are also trying to spread more awareness about what the fire department does in general. Most people do not know that we work in EMS, deal with medical calls and freeway calls and teach bike safety."
Meanwhile, the police had stations for parents to get finger prints and DNA tool kits for their children. "It's sort of a worst case scenario situation, where the kit is used to help us identify their child," Police Officer Michael Kan said.
Similarly, the EMT team had a station to promote the "vial for life" program. Essentially citizens are asked to put their medical information in a small pill bottle inside their refrigerators. In case of an emergency, fireman and the medical team will immediately look there for your information.
"This is critical for providing medical good care because if we don't know you then we don't know how to treat you," Pam Pripeore said.
City of Palo Alto Utilities also had various organizations to teach citizens how to shut off a gas gear in case there was an emergency. They also promoted where they are inspecting all the gas and sewer services from each house in Palo Alto to make sure there is no cross bearing, which is problem that occurs when gas lines and sewer lines intersect.
Lastly, seismic retrofitting was a top priority of the faire. There was various stations from construction companies that specialize in earthquake retrofitting such as Anderson Construction.
"Basically the purpose of retrofitting is to protect your families, protect your investment or your home, and make sure that your house does not get so much damage that you can't still live in it and will have to stay at a shelter," said Julio Mieto, who works for Anderson Construction.
Originally this fair used to be done by the fire department but they have not done anything in 12 years. Many organizations both sponsored the event and provided free merchandise, such as the , Palo Alto Neighborhoods, Children's Hospital, Palo Alto Neighborhoods, and the Red Cross.
"Emergency preparedness has been a priority in Palo Alto since 2006, but we had yet to have a faire," Glanckopf said. "I think it was an overall success. It is much better to be safe than sorry."