Community

Preparing for emergencies? There's a grant for that


David Head/Special to the Town Crier
The Block Action Team on Ben Roe Drive used its 2018-2019 Community and Emergency Preparedness Grant to purchase emergency preparedness kits and host an ice cream social, during which members distributed the kits to neighbors.

The city of Los Altos’ Community and Emergency Preparedness Grants Program funds projects aimed at encouraging residents and small businesses to improve emergency preparedness, build community and strengthen neighborhood ties.

Grants are available for qualified projects that support the program’s goals to enhance community resiliency by proactively preparing for emergencies and strengthening the community’s ability to respond to and recover from emergencies, disasters and crime; and to increase communication and bolster connections within the Los Altos community.

“All California residents know that we should be prepared for earthquakes, wildfires and other emergency events, but sometimes it’s hard to get started,” said Ann Hepenstal, community emergency preparedness coordinator. “By offering these grants, the city wants to motivate neighborhoods and small businesses to take steps toward emergency preparedness and strengthening community ties. When a disaster strikes, everyone needs to have supplies on hand and the ability to help themselves, their family and neighbors.”

For a neighborhood to qualify for a grant, applicants must be Los Altos residents and the neighborhood must be registered as a Block Action Team or a Neighborhood Watch Group or be in the process of registering as one.

“Neighborhood Watch and BATs bring groups of neighbors together to work on strengthening connections within a neighborhood,” Hepenstal said. “These groups operate at a grass-roots level and collaborate with the city of Los Altos to improve a neighborhood’s disaster preparedness, support crime prevention efforts and strengthen a sense of community.”

For a small business to qualify for a grant, applicants must be an independently owned and operated company located in Los Altos, with fewer than 50 employees, and either registered for the Los Altos Business Watch program or in the process of registering. Business Watch is a cooperative program between Los Altos businesses and the Los Altos Police Department, similar in purpose to Neighborhood Watch.

Grant applications are due Jan. 14. Mail signed applications to City of Los Altos, 1 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos 94022, Attn: Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Applications also may be dropped off at city hall.

Grant recipients will be announced Jan. 30.

For a grant application and a list of last year’s grant recipients and projects, visit losaltosca.gov/cepg.

For more information, call Hepenstal at 947-2629 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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