Prioritize preparedness: Your voice in emergency evacuation planning

by Darin Schindler Ventura Police Chief

As September unfolds, so does National Preparedness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of emergency planning and readiness. Ventura’s history bears witness to volatile wildfires and floods, making this month’s focus on preparedness all the more pertinent.

In our unwavering commitment to your safety and well-being, I am pleased to share that we’ve launched the Evacuation Preparedness Community Survey, a valuable opportunity for residents to actively shape how we respond to and recover from life-threatening emergencies.

Drawing on over 30 years of experience in law enforcement, and now as your Police Chief, I am acutely aware of the pivotal and critical role that effective emergency planning plays in preserving lives and minimizing the impact of crises. In collaboration with the City’s Emergency Services Manager, Mack Douglass, and our dedicated team of police officers and firefighters, we recognize the importance of nurturing a community that is well-informed and empowered to take decisive action during times of distress.

The Evacuation Preparedness Community Survey is a powerful tool that gives you a direct voice in refining Ventura’s evacuation plans, allocating essential resources, and guiding future educational initiatives. By participating in this 10-minute survey, available in both English and Spanish, you become a critical contributor to a more resilient Ventura. Your insights will provide us with valuable information to bolster existing evacuation strategies, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that our emergency plans are comprehensive and practical.

As we contemplate the ever-changing landscape of emergencies, your feedback will be instrumental in shaping our approach. The survey delves into critical aspects of evacuation preparedness, including your familiarity with evacuation routes, knowledge of emergency shelters, preferred transportation, favored communication methods for alerts and information, and overall readiness. Your responses will help us tailor our efforts to suit the needs and preferences of our diverse community.

It’s important to understand that emergency preparedness is not the sole responsibility of first responders; it’s a collaborative effort that demands active participation from each community member. Efficient evacuation routes are the backbone of a successful life-saving response. By participating in this survey, you also initiate essential conversations about preparedness with your family, further equipping yourselves to navigate challenges efficiently.

Your input will enable Ventura’s first responders to execute their duties precisely and confidently. In times of crisis, every second counts, ultimately saving lives and further protecting our community.

To access the Evacuation Preparedness Community Survey and learn more about this crucial initiative, please visit our website at

Remember – If we can predict it, we can prepare for it and respond better! Your participation is an investment in our shared safety, and we are grateful to serve a community that shares our commitment to preparedness.

Your voice matters in building a more resilient Ventura. Together, let’s ensure that our emergency preparedness is not just a plan on paper but a living testament to our collective commitment to each other’s safety.

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