President’s Message – May 2019


Emergency Evacuation Forum, Classic Car Show Coming Up

    November’s Camp Fire is considered the deadliest wildfire in California to date. It destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people. Very dry vegetation, high winds and limited evacuation routes turned this wildfire into a high-speed monster that obliterated the town in Butte County. It is estimated that 90 percent of the houses and 50 percent of the commercial buildings were destroyed. Our hearts grieve for the fallen and their families.
    While investigations and lawsuits are underway, it’s a good time for all of us to reflect and ask: Are we prepared? What do we do if asked to evacuate our home? Have we planned for the safety of our families? Do we have a bag of important items to take with us in an emergency or evacuation?
    These questions and more will be addressed in an Emergency Evacuation Forum sponsored by The Orinda Association (OA). It takes place 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 23 at the Orinda Library Auditorium. The chief of the Moraga-Orinda Fire Department, the Orinda police chief, emergency instructors and evacuation coordinators are being invited to provide information and answer questions.
    When a fire occurs and there is a need to evacuate, most people freeze and have little clue what they need to pack. If you are like me, you would think about photo albums or artwork. Others would think about their pets or jewelry. How about important papers or passports? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, evacuations are very common in the United States. Evacuations are not only caused by fires or earthquakes; they can occur due to transportation and industrial accidents.
    During every disaster, someone says, “I never thought it could happen to me.” Being better prepared and knowing a few steps could help cut losses. Fire safety and prevention habits can help prevent fires from starting and limit the damage should a fire occur. The forum will include current best practices from recent evacuation exercises, “Go Bag” planning, inventory and insurance coverage steps and evacuation plan preparation.
    As part of the forum, a video will be created to show this important information along with answers to questions on safety. The video is planned to be available on Contra Costa TV and the Community Emergency Response Team website.
    Please plan to attend this very important fire safety forum. It is open to the public.
    Planning ahead to Saturday, on Sept. 7, The OA sponsors the 15th Annual Classic Car Show. Vintage cars can be viewed in the Orinda Village District in front of Orinda Motors along Orinda Way. It is a free event and takes place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
    This year’s theme is Back to the Future. In addition to vintage vehicles there may be several DeLoreans to gaze at and enjoy. As part of the occasion, your hosts will be dressed in lab coats and white wigs to replicate the look of “Doc” in the Back to the Future movies.
    If you have a vintage vehicle and would like to register the car, visit This event benefits Seniors Around Town (SAT), the Educational Foundation of Orinda (EFO), and other local organizations.
    Friday, the night before the show, on Sept. 6, is the Dancing with the Cars extravaganza from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., which includes a catered dinner. The Rotary Club of Orinda, which sponsors the event, will hold it at the new Art and Garden Center at Wilder. The venue is situated in the picturesque Wilder development behind Field #5. It is large enough to hold up to 190 people.
    Stay tuned for more details and how to purchase tickets. As in past years, proceeds are provided to local non-profit and charitable organizations. Please put these events in your calendar as you plan for the future. 

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