The residents of the retirement center in west Anaheim shuffled out of their apartments to the incessant beep beep beep of the fire alarm.
Chairs were waiting for them in the day room of Miracle Terrace Apartments on Western Avenue, along with pamphlets in several languages about preparing for the unthinkable:
A disaster like a raging fire, or a devastating earthquake.
Alicia Badosa, a fire inspector for Anaheim Fire & Rescue, was impressed by the self-initiated fire drill, which she said should be routine at all of the city’s residential complexes — especially ones that house seniors, a vulnerable segment of the population.
“If people prepare for emergencies,” Badosa said, “they will feel more comfortable when an actual one occurs.”
Miracle Terrace Apartments know all too well the devastation that a fire can cause. Several years ago an actual emergency occurred when a rapidly moving fire killed one and destroyed one of the complex’s seven buildings, displacing dozen of residents.
Tammy Vargas, property manager of Miracle Terrace Apartments, which is owned by the John Stewart Co., whose holdings include 33,000 apartment units throughout Orange County, wants to make sure all residents are prepared for a fire or other natural disaster.
And Vargas wants them to know what to do in an emergency.
That’s one of the reasons for the recent fire drill, which included a presentation by an American Red Cross representative.
Badosa, who conducts annual safety inspections at Miracle Terrace, was on hand to answer any questions.
The goal of the Red Cross is to make residents self-supportive in the event of a disaster.
Get a kit.
Make a plan.
These three things are vital in the event of a fire or earthquake.
A good kit should, at a minimum, include a three-day supply of water and food, medications and first-aid supplies. Other recommended items include a flashlight, radio, batteries, cash, contact information, important papers and pet supplies.
As for a plan, Miracle Terrace residents were urged to talk to family, neighbors and coworkers and assign to people roles such as who will grab the emergency kit and who will be in charge of children or pets. A plan also should include two evacuation routes and two places to meet.
To stay informed, Miracle Terrace residents were asked to study literature explaining what to do in the event of a fire or earthquake and learn such things as their local emergency radio station (in Orange County, it’s 107.9 FM).
Miracle Terrace residents also were urged to sign up for text or emails alerts regarding urgent events such as fires, evacuations and power outages through “Anaheim Alert,” the city’s community notification system (visit anaheimalert.net or txt “register” to 311ANA (311262).
Said Vargas: “I want to make sure my residents are taken care of.”