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By John Trinkl
The Noe Valley Preparedness Committee held its first planning meeting Nov. 22 to discuss how Noe Valley residents can be prepared for a major disaster. Witnessing the poor response to Hurricane Katrina and knowing that San Francisco could experience a major earthquake at any time, the neighborhood group Friends of Noe Valley spearheaded the effort to launch the new group.
"We welcome any individuals or organizations to join with us," said Mindy Kershner, project manager of the Preparedness Committee. "People can meet with us regularly or just get in touch with us with their interests and concerns."
The Committee is collecting existing emergency plans to see how they fit together and as a basis for developing an emergency plan tailored to Noe Valley. The Committee will be starting a public education campaign to let people know what they can do to be personally prepared. The group will also be working with the San Francisco Fire Department's Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), which offers a 20-hour training program for volunteers from neighborhoods across the city.
"We could be on the brink of disaster in the Bay Area," said Kershner. "Katrina made us think that we can do better, especially since we're going to face something at some point."
The next meeting of the Preparedness Committee will be on Dec. 5. The group will also report back to the Jan. 12 meeting of the Friends of Noe Valley (7:30 p.m., St. Philip's Parish Hall, 725 Diamond Street). Call Mindy Kershner at 377-3890 for details or further information.