Outside may have been gray and damp, but the inside of the Craneway Pavilion on the Richmond waterfront Saturday was bright and gleaming with shiny fire trucks and other emergency vehicles on display for an Emergency Preparedness Expo.
Emergency responders from a variety of agencies and Chevron set up tables to offer preparedness tips to the public, hand out literature and offer freebies and snacks.
Outside, an earthquake simulator gave the stout of heart a shaking that was supposed to be equivalent to a magnitude 8.0 quake.
Public turnout was modest during the early afternoon span of time when Patch visited the event, which ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A number of public officials dropped by, including Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, West Contra Costa Unified School District Superindent Bruce Harter, school board member Madeline Kronenberg, and Richmond City Councilman Jeff Ritterman, chief backer of the proposed Rlchmond soda tax that failed on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Among the agencies on hand was the El Cerrito police department, which rolled in its black-and-white Incident Command Vehicle, a SUV equipped with a command post console in the rear hatch and what appeared to be SWAT-team rifles inside.
The console in the back of vehicle has two computers that are supposed to be connected by "air card" modem to the Internet, but in a demonstration for Patch, the Internet could not be accessed. Officer Ed Li speculated that the air card may not have been able to function inside a building.
The vehicle also has detailed maps of local schools and other public facilities for police use during emergencies, plug-in access for external power sources and jacks for connecting a variety of external devices.
Chevron, a major sponsor of the Expo, occupied much of the exhibition space with one of its own fire trucks and several booths and tables, including one at the entrance that handed out free disaster kits. The kits contained emergency supplies in a draw-string red plastic bag bearing the logos of Chevron and the American Red Cross.
The disaster kits included:
- a 17.7-ounce packet of six dense food bars
- two packets of drinking water of 4.227 ounces each
- a 3.5-inch-long LED flashlight
- a miniature first-aid kit with bandages and ointment
- a pair of canvas gloves
- a compact poncho
- a very thin reflective blanket folded into a packet about the size of a deck of cards
- a 12-hour safety light stick
- a 2-oouce bottle of hand sanitizer
- a yellow cord
- a respirator mask like some house-painters wear