Briefing Room: Get ready—September is National Preparedness Month

Logo courtesy of Seal Beach PD

By SBPD Lt. Julia Clasby

Hi Seal Beach!

Lieutenant Nicholas is on vacation this week, so I am your guest host in the Briefing Room. My name is Lieutenant Julia Clasby and I am the Support Services Bureau lieutenant. I oversee the records bureau, parking control, detention center, and emergency services division. I graduated from CSULB (Go Beach!) with a Master’s in Emergency Services Administration and authored our City’s Evacuation Plan as my master’s thesis. So, I guess you could say I am passionate about emergency preparedness!

As we look forward to September and all that Fall in Seal Beach has to offer, I wanted to remind everyone that September is National Preparedness Month. This designation serves to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time.

Seal Beach is special for many reasons, but when it comes to emergencies and potential disasters, we are very unique. Seal Beach has several high risk, low probability hazards due to its unique geographic and demographic characteristics. The Newport-Inglewood fault line runs through the city and generally parallels the coastline, extending from Long Beach southerly through Huntington Beach and along the coast to Newport Beach. The city also sits above a high groundwater table, and most of the buildings in the community are in areas of elevated liquefaction potential. Most tsunamis (approximately 80%) occur within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a geologically active area where tectonic shifts make volcanoes and earthquakes common. Tsunamis are a potential threat to all coastal California communities and local earthquakes as well as those in Alaska, Japan, and South America may cause tsunamis that affect Seal Beach. Low-lying coastal areas (like Seal Beach) face the greatest threat from tsunamis. The hazards that may pose the greatest risk to Seal Beach are flooding and coastline disturbances, particularly if a powerful storm occurs in conjunction with high tides. For the Police Department, we look out for any rain events that produce more than 1 inch of rain in a one-hour period as a potential flooding situation.

Emergencies generally occur without advanced warning and therefore require pre-disaster evacuation planning to give impacted populations the ability to evacuate in a safe and timely manner. The National Preparedness Month theme for 2021 is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” Throughout the month, the national campaign focuses on different aspects of preparedness for individuals, families and communities.

• Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster.

• Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly.

• Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards. Check your insurance coverage to make sure it is up to date.

• Week 4 September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

For more information about Emergency/Disaster Preparedness please visit our city website and click on the link for Police > Public Safety > Emergency Preparedness. There you will find links to our Emergency Operations Plan, Tsunami Evacuation Routes, Evacuation Plan, Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and Disaster Preparedness Guide for Seniors & Caregivers. There is also a checklist for creating a seven-day emergency supply kit and information on how to join the AlertOC and Nixle public messaging systems.

If you have any questions about Emergency Preparedness, please contact Emergency Services Coordinator – Sergeant Brian Gray at 562-799-4100 extension 1145 or

Thanks for joining me in the Briefing Room Seal Beach! Lt. Nicholas will be back next week to answer all your questions, so keep them coming. Email them to today!