At the Thursday, Aug. 11 Mountain Emergency Services Committee (MEMSCOMM) meeting, Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Gina Moran-McGough reported that the county had purchased 60 emergency trailers to be used throughout the county as part of its Mass Care and Shelter Project. The trailers contain cots, blankets, generators and supplies to assist residents in emergency-affected areas.

Moran-McGough and Idyllwild Fire Chief Norm Walker are hopeful that one of these units would be placed in Idyllwild. Walker expressed concern that Idyllwild’s fire department building is cinder block and might sustain severe damage in a major quake, making the need for an emergency trailer more pressing. Walker is concerned that the fire station might not be adequate for an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) after a quake and wants to explore with local water districts and quasi-governmental organizations alternative locations for citizen assembly and an EOC.

Idyllwild Water District’s General Manager Terry Lyons noted that his agency has a disaster exercise planned for October. “I’d love to be part of that,” said the chief.

In other business, Moran-McGough stressed the importance of an Oct. 20 “Great Shake Out” countywide earthquake exercise. Prior to that exercise, Robert Michael de Groot, education program manager for the Southern California Earthquake Center, will speak about the likely effect on the mountain of a major quake at the next MEMSCOMM meeting, 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at the Idyllwild Fire Station.