Kern County officials share disaster preparedness plans

The Kern County Operations Center is seen in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Earthquakes, wildfires and flooding are just a few of the potential disasters for which Kern County officials have to prepare.

The officials utilize the Ready Kern Evacuation Alerts to communicate with residents about safe and quick relocating.

Along with making sure residents are aware of a disaster as soon as possible, county officials have to make sure people are evacuated to safe places.

Kern County Fire Department Chief Brian Marshall said, "Fortunately and unfortunately we get a lot of practice with disasters here in Kern County."

The county officials utilize an Emergency Operations Center to communicate with one another.

In the event cell service goes out, they communicate via radio.

Following the loss of radio communication, they deploy runners who head out and deliver messages by car.

"When we send out the evacuation order, we want people to leave," Marshall said. "You can rebuild homes. You can't rebuild lives."

The response time is critical, especially for those who need extra assistance. The county partners with agencies including the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

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