We live in earthquake country, and seismologists predict that we are well overdue for a large earthquake that could overwhelm public safety and other vital resources. There is no question about whether disaster may strike. It’s just a matter of when.
While most homes would probably remain standing, residents need to be prepared for what could be weeks without basic necessities such as water, power, heat and food. And what about our public emergency response systems?
An independent fire station assessment finalized last year determined that seven of our eight fire stations could fail in a major earthquake, meaning our rescue crews might not be able to save themselves, let alone others. Unless we repair and upgrade our stations, a major earthquake could leave our community without critical, life-saving fire rescue services
Station 39 is currently closed for renovations to make it safe again, and Station 32 is undergoing temporary structural upgrades. Those projects are being completed with existing funds. But making all our stations structurally sound enough to withstand a big quake will cost as much as $50 million.
Sacramento cannot be relied on for help. State money grabs continue to cost Pasadena millions ($30 million a year alone from the recent seizure of redevelopment agency funds). And Pasadena received no help paying for $14.5 million worth of damage caused by December’s hurricane-force windstorm.
Pasadena must act locally to repair and upgrade our aging and outdated fire stations and emergency shelters to ensure that when the Big One hits, our firefighters will be digging you out, not themselves.
To learn more about our efforts to keep Pasadena safe and to share your thoughts, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/ Fire/ Fire_Safety_Priorities_Survey.