Since 1986, Mountain Disaster Preparedness (MDP), a nonprofit, has been helping the community during natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. Its goal is to educate the public on how to prepare ahead of time for the worst-case scenario.
There are nine Disaster Aid Stations (DAS) throughout Idyllwild, Fern Valley and Pine Cove that are designed to help those in need when a disaster strikes. Inside these stations are medical supplies, and search and rescue equipment for the MDP volunteers, including 100 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trained volunteers to help those in need.
“We can serve about 120 people with minor injuries in each unit. In the event of an earthquake, flood or road closure, where we are up here by ourselves, that is the purpose of our DAS,” said MDP President Mike Feyder. “We have a core medical group — about 12 retired doctors and nurses — that is also available for more advanced medical issues.”
While there are plenty of supplies in each DAS to help, food and water are not available at any of these stations. This is something that MDP encourages the public to stock up on at home. They are a place to get the most updated information and access to electricity even if the power has gone out.
“People are responsible to have supplies for themselves and their family in their own dwelling because outside help would be far and few between if we had a major earthquake,” said Thom Wallace, MDP director of Disaster Aid Station and Operations.
There are maps in front of the Idyllwild Post Office on a bulletin board and in the Idyllwild Phone Book to help residents and visitors locate their nearest DAS.
The supplies are funded strictly by grants and donations.
“If we are cut off and up here alone, we will do what we have to do to help those in need,” assured Feyder.
MDP partners with first responders at Idyllwild Fire Protection District, Cal Fire, Riverside County Emergency Management Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Red Cross and other organizations to serve the community when emergencies happen.