What are Your Odds of Surviving a Disaster?

Water drop over Topanga State Park during the Topanga Fire, June 30, 2017. Photo courtesy TCEP

Does it seem like we’re living in “disaster-a-day” mode these days?

In 2017, more than 9,000 wildfires burned across California, setting historical records. This year’s wildfires have been so massive in scale that they have been clearly visible from the International Space Station, with smoke blowing all the way to New York at times. Seismologists continue to warn that we’re way past due for an earthquake and when it hits, the devastation could be widespread with major disruptions lasting for weeks or months.

On Sunday, September 23, from 2-4 p.m., at the Topanga Library, Topanga’s hard-working emergency preparedness volunteer organizations will present “Emergency Preparation Insights” that could make it easier for you to survive and recover from the next disaster.

During this informal presentation and Q&A format presented by the Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness (TCEP), you’ll meet “coalition” representatives from the North Topanga Canyon Fire Safe Council, Topanga Animal Rescue, Arson Watch, TCEP’s Hotline and Disaster Radio Team, Topanga Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Topanga Town Council.


  • “Am I as prepared as I could be for a worst-case scenario?”
  • “What would I do if a wildfire started in the middle of the night?”
  • “How would I get help if an earthquake cut off access to the canyon?”


  • How to get notified if a wildfire is threatening Topanga
  • Simple ways to make your home less vulnerable to wildfire embers
  • Where to get information on active emergency incidents
  • Ways to ease your access back into the canyon after evacuations
  • How neighbors can organize to help each other before, during, and after a disaster
  • Radio communication options if cell phones, Internet, and TV go down.
  • What Topanga activists are doing about Edison’s controversial Public Safety Power Shutoff program (PSPS).

While it’s easy to say, “It’ll never happen here,” it could and likely will happen here. Getting your emergency preparation ducks in a row is like buying insurance: once you’ve got it, you feel protected.


The Topanga Library is located at 122 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290. For more information: (310) 455-3480; colapublib.org.

Scott Ferguson is Board Chair of the Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness (TCEP) and a 29-year resident of Topanga.


By Scott Ferguson


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