To prepare residents on the Coastside for an emergency such as an earthquake or tsunami, one resident is organizing a daylong “shelter-in-place” practice.

On Memorial Day weekend, Michelle Dragony, founder of Coastsidebuzz.net, is asking people to get out their camping gear and emergency supplies to simulate the experience of sheltering in place for a few days. 

“The idea is that people need to get together once a year and talk about emergency prep,” Dragony said. “What food do you have reserved? What do you have available at home already that can be used? Do you know your neighbors and have a communication system set up?” 

The event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Dragony is encouraging people to host neighborhood block parties to get to know who is living next door and down the street. To fully participate in the event, people can get out their gear and practice what to do should it be necessary to shelter in place. 

A CERT certified trainer, Dragony said that, because of the limited roadways on the Coastside, many people would have to stay where they are for 72 to 96 hours or longer during a widespread disaster. 

“If there is an earthquake, you duck and cover, then you shelter in place,” Dragony said. “Californians are not prepared. So if we can create a culture where once a year we practice these scenarios, we will be better prepared.” 

Dragony will be at New Leaf Community Market over the weekend to hand out information on what to have in an emergency supply bag and what resources people should stock up on before the disaster strikes. 

“We are on our own,” Dragony said. “We have to build resiliency on this side of the hill.”

Dragony, who is a resident of Half Moon Bay, said this event is a long time coming, as she has long wanted to organize an emergency practice event.

“The more awareness on getting prepared we can do as individuals, the more we will be able to look after our neighbors,” Dragony said.

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