College Hour Advises Students to be Prepared


LRCCD Police Chief Cheryl Sears answers attendees’ questions after her College Hour lecture, Ready or Not.

Joseph Daniels and Joseph Daniels

“It’s not a matter if it’s going to happen, it’s a matter of when it’s going to happen,” LRCCD Police Chief Cheryl Sears said during her lecture for the emergency preparedness College Hour event “Ready or Not” on Sept. 11.

Sears provided tips on how to best be prepared in case of an emergency. At the beginning of the lecture, Sears reminded everyone it was the anniversary of 9/11.

“I’ve been apart of law enforcement for 32 years,” Sears said, “you can’t be too prepared. It is very important to be prepared for a catastrophic situation.”

Sears listed items that should be in an emergency kit: flashlights, water, snacks, prescriptions, can food, a can opener and/or “MREs,” an acronym for “meals ready to eat.”

Sears went over emergencies that would be more likely to happen in the Sacramento area, like an earthquake.

Sears also covered what to do in events like the Napa Earthquake, including turning off your stove if you smell a gas leak.

Sears went on to discuss emergencies on campus, suggesting that attendees have a designated person to make contact with in the event of an emergency.

Los Rios is self prepared for three days, Sears said. If the situation lasts longer than a couple hours, Red Cross will kick in, Sears said.

An audience member volunteered their own advice, calling out during the lecture “make sure to have an extra pair of shoes.”

By the time you’re taking those steps, you won’t have time to pack, Sears said.

Sears asked the audience if any of them knew their neighbors, explaining that it’s important to build relationships with them, so there is camaraderie in the event of an emergency.

Bob Irvine, an ARC computer science professor attending the event, was asked if he learned anything from the lecture. Irvin laughed, and said he learned how unprepared he truly is.

Debbie Cameron attended the college hour event as well. Cameron said she liked the information about technology, especially about the Reverse 911 system, a cell phone service that allows authorities to alert a larger population of an emergency situation.

Cameron said she once had to seek shelter in a basement while a Tornado touched down in Ohio.

Sears was asked what to do in case someone poses a threat on campus. Sears advised that if you’re in an altercation, walk away. Talking is always better, Sears explained, and recommended always being aware of your surroundings.