Special Needs Registry, Project Lifesaver programs available at free expo at College of the Canyons.
As part of its proactive efforts to help Santa Clarita residents prepare for an emergency, the City’s Emergency Expo will be on Saturday at College of the Canyons from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free event entertains and educates community members about what to do in the event of an emergency and includes fun activities, demonstrations and exhibits. Families can learn how to make emergency plans with the help of firefighters, hospital workers, sheriff’s deputies, emergency personnel and other service workers in the community.
The expo offers attendees an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be in an ambulance, ride on a fire truck, perform CPR and first aid and use hand-held radios to communicate in emergency situations. This year’s offering include the chance to make first-aid kits, eat camp food with Girl Scouts, win safety helmets at the Share the Road booth, experience the Quake Walk and win Robek’s smoothies in preparedness time games. Local veterinarians will discuss and demonstrate pet safety during an emergency.
Those with any disability or special need can attend the Expo an hour before the event opens to the public, starting at 9 a.m. The Special Needs Access Hour provides a personalized opportunity to meet and interact with the first responders.
Emily Iland, Chairman of the CLEAR committee that helped to organize the Access Hour says, “There are many considerations to take into account when an emergency situation involves a person with special needs or a disability. The Access Hour provides a wonderful, welcoming environment to improve everyone’s comfort level and help families prepare and practice for an emergency.”
For the sixth year in a row, volunteer ambassadors will escort families and raise the comfort level between the first responders and the special needs families.
Two unique resources available only to Special Needs families in Santa Clarita will be showcased at the expo. The Special Needs Registry is a secure safety tool that allows local families to provide essential information to the Sheriffs Department to be used if a person with a special need becomes lost or involved in an emergency. Parents and caregivers can learn how to register their family members in the online Special Needs Registry at the expo.
Another safety tool being introduced and demonstrated at the expo is Project Lifesaver, a safety device to help locate high-risk family members in the event they become missing or lost.
The access hour from 9 to 10 a.m. for families with special needs is available through the City of Santa Clarita in conjunction with the CLEAR project. CLEAR stands for Community and Law Enforcement Aware Response, and is a local collaborative effort to reduce risk and improve outcomes when people with disabilities are involved in emergency or criminal situations. For more information visit www.CLEARscv.org  .