New and current members of the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee (CLEPC) were sworn in recently by the city clerk, who administered the Oath of Affirmation to the committee volunteers who completed the vetting process. The process is composed of fingerprinting and completion of all required FEMA and Incident Command courses.
The City of Canyon Lake has established and sponsors the Emergency Preparedness Committee, which works in coordination with Riverside County Fire, Riverside Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Services. The Committee also has liaisons with the American Red Cross.
The committee meets on the first Thursday of each month, except July and August, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.
“The CLEPC wants to grow and expand to help the community to survive. Each citizen has the potential to be a hero, all have the potential to learn how and contribute when the need arises,” said Mayor Larry Greene. “Come see what we are about, attend a meeting and become acquainted with your fellow neighbors who are investing their time and expertise to safeguard the citizens of Canyon Lake.”
The monthly meetings offer updated information on disaster preparedness, provide educational opportunities for families to learn how best to cope during a disaster and through a volunteer vetting procedure, certify members as disaster health responders. The committee stresses to its volunteers that family comes first during a disaster and being prepared is of key importance.
Citizens who wish to attend for information updates are welcome to attend the meetings. Citizens who wish to assume a response role in times of need can volunteer in many areas, such as EOC operations, Casualty Collection Point, Damage Assessment or Shelter Operation. The latter category requires a vetting procedure and additional FEMA and Red Cross education classes.
The CLEPC is actively involved in the community, providing first aid stations at community events and teaching “hands-only” CPR for clubs that request the class.
Some future plans include the implantation of drone technology for disaster survey and CERT training for citizens. As the demographics of Canyon Lake have changed so has emergency response.
History of CLEPC
In 1989, well before Canyon Lake became incorporated, the residents in this rural development gathered to form a group of volunteers who would respond to emergencies in Canyon Lake. Membership was built on asking each of the clubs to send two representatives to attend meetings.
The volunteers went door to door asking for donations of shovels, tarps, medical equipment, or any other items that could possibly be needed after a disaster.
The first CLEPC president moved away about eight months later and Frank Webster was appointed to the position of president until his resignation in 1991. Nancy Carroll stepped into the position after Frank resigned and served as president for the next 25 years. Larry Greene succeeded Nancy as president.
The mission of the CLEPC is to encourage, implement and support an emergency services response and disaster management system that protects the citizens of Canyon Lake from effects of major emergencies and disasters while fostering a leadership vision where everyone practices sound emergency management concepts and principles that protect lives, property and environment.
The demographics of Canyon Lake are much different now; Riverside County has established a comprehensive disaster response, citizens of Canyon Lake are busily involved with work, raising families and commuting and Canyon Lake is no longer “rural.”
The CLEPC needs volunteers not to disappear. Volunteerism is difficult to sustain, preparedness is essential. For more information about the CLEPC, contact Canyon Lake City Hall at 951-244-2955.