The Mountain Disaster Preparedness group is hosting a special meeting next week with the Riverside County Department of Public Health and the community at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, at the Idyllwild Library.

This will be the final of 17 community sessions across the county since last month. It has been many years since the county has undertaken an effort of this sort.

“We’ve been from Blythe to Temecula“ said Jose Arballo Jr.,
senior public information specialist for the DPH. “It’s great to go across the county and learn what we can do.”

Members of the DPH, the county Emergency Preparedness Response team and the Epidemiology Bureau will be present to hear community thoughts and suggestions.

The comments and recommendations from all 17 sessions, as well as the survey, will be used to prepare an assessment report, which will be made available to county officials and the public.

Thus, three topics have been frequently mentioned. The first is general access to medical facilities, including transportation. The second is similar, but more specific. People have also expressed a need or desire for greater access to mental-health resources.

The third comment, which DPH has heard often, related to the organization and availability of various health resources.

“I don’t know whether this means just a list or something else; what platform we could use, such as a flier, paper or electronic, like a website, or more general availability,” Arballo said.

DPH will have a survey form available at the session, but for those unable to attend it can be found online at, which can be accessed from the DPH site,

More than 1,000 people have taken the survey online, the public forums have drawn many attendees, but the individual sessions are usually less than 30 people, according to Arballo.

“But the people who show up are very enthused,” he said.