BARC’s Disaster Preparedness Program
In 2012 BARC was approached by the Kern County Office of Emergency Services to collaborate on disaster preparedness services for the elderly and the disabled. The original agreement was to provide emergency evacuation services through the large fleet of transportation vehicles utilized by BARC in its daily operation. BARC has one of the largest transport capabilities in Kern County with over 29 large state certified transport buses for transporting ambulatory individuals. In addition, BARC has over 100 other vehicles which could be utilized in the event of an occurring disaster (vans, trucks, bulldozers, fork lifts, etc.).
The key to the disaster preparedness program is to save lives. The disaster case-studies show that the highest death rate when a disaster strikes is among the elderly and disabled populations. This occurs because of the lack of disaster preparedness knowledge and by having no disaster plan. BARC has created a disaster preparedness plan for individuals with disabilities and as part of this plan has created a video for compiling an emergency disaster kit. The link to the disaster kit video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPOG8ao823Y.
BARC currently provides various types of disaster preparedness education for individuals and businesses. BARC collaborates with the American Red Cross, Kern County Office of Emergency Services and Southern California Edison to provide the highest quality disaster preparedness education and outreach program for our disabled and non-disabled community. Thus far the program has already engaged over 339 individuals and counting. This is important training for educating the community and disseminating important information. In addition, through a grant from Southern California Edison BARC has expanded the program to reach businesses (through Red Cross training) and using businesses to disseminate disaster preparedness information for the rural or hard to reach communities of Kern River Valley. This focus is on the Kern River Valley area where BARC has its second facility that serves over seven surrounding small communities. To-date over 40 KRV businesses has been reached and another 1,000 residents have received valuable disaster preparedness information but there is much more work to be done.
Please click here to view details about BARC’s role in the County’s Disaster Preparedness Plan: Office of Emergency Services Letter