This month’s guest editor, Marshall Smith, discussed Idyllwild’s emergency preparedness with MDP President Mike Feyder. Mr. Smith is also a CERT-trained member of MDP and commander of the DAS unit D at Town Hall.
Mountain Disaster Preparedness (MDP) is a local non-profit Hill resource that may be critically important when the sleeping San Andreas Fault erupts. Riverside County Office of Emergency Services Deputy Director Peter Lent advises outside assistance might not reach the Hill for two weeks or more when the “Big One” strikes. That isolation is what makes the work of MDP so important.
MDP volunteers work with professional responders in times of disaster to provide neighborhood damage information using MDP’s radio network, register residents at MDP Disaster Aid Stations (DAS), and direct them to approved Red Cross shelters. Emergency medical treatment can be provided under the direction of MDP’s Medical Officer Dr. Dick Goldberg. DAS units are kept stocked with emergency provisions kept up to date by MDP and overseen by local neighborhood commanders and captains.
Established in 1986, MDP grew in numbers of registered volunteers and those who are Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trained. CERT volunteers go through a weekend course with hands-on training that equips them to work productively with professional emergency responders.
All Hill volunteer organizations play important community roles. MDP may be one of the few that could also save lives.