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SoCal residents prepare for possible disaster

September 6, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Firefighters and police rushed in and Nichols Canyon residents streamed out of the Hollywood Hills this morning. It was all voluntarily and part of an evacuation drill.

"We've lived in the canyon for thirty years, and I think for this to be organized in the case of a fire is very necessary," said Jeffery Klawans who lives in the area.

Police and firefighters went door to door telling people to leave, simulating what would happen in the event of a brush fire or other disaster.

"We packed up our pets and got all of our valuables together," said Jimmy Carrillo who also lives in Nichols Canyon and participated in the drill.

Nichols Canyon area was chosen because of its dense population and thick vegetation.

Many residents welcomed the opportunity to prepare themselves for a real emergency.

"We never thought for a minute what our escape route might be if there was a fire or a disaster in the area so I think it's a fantastic thing," said resident Wally Pfister.

Other residents recalled a fire in the area three years ago and said that being unprepared at the time was really scary.

Hollywood High School was used as an evacuation center where emergency personnel set up operations. In the case of a real disaster residents would get food, shelter and other assistance.

Neighborhood residents did their part to encourage participation by printing up and handing out hundreds of flyers.

"Most everybody has evacuated and done a great job. The people are role-playing as we would want them," said L.A. Fire Battalion Chief Greg Gibson. "We all know the Santa Ana winds are coming and if they actually hit this neighborhood we have to be ready to go."

 

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