San Jose helps communities prepare for the next disaster

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A town hall meeting in San Jose Monday night offered tips and kits for emergency preparedness.

It was just over a year ago that flood waters ravaged neighborhoods along Coyote Creek in central San Jose.

RELATED: One year later, Coyote Creek flood victims still recovering

More than $100 million in damage was done and 14,000 people were displaced.

City councilman Tam Nguyen hosted the town hall, at Shirakawa Elementary School, to help people become better prepared for storms and other emergencies.

The city's director of emergency services told the dozens of people in attendance that the city has made several improvements since last year's flooding that should result in better notification of an emergency.

For one, the city and the Santa Clara County Water District created a plan together.

Also, there's new technology in place to better gauge the water level in Coyote Creek.

RELATED: South Bay agencies say they're better prepared for flooding

If the water level should become dangerously high, text, email or landline messages will go out to people who've signed up for AlertSCC.

If necessary, messages can also go out to people who have not signed up, as is the case with Amber Alerts.

The city also has a better plan in place for loudspeaker announcements that can be heard through walls and going door to door to alert people if an emergency happens in the middle of the night when people are sleeping.

Officials asked people to do their part to be prepared. That includes having renters or homeowners insurance.

At the town hall meeting, the water district and American Red Cross gave out free emergency kits that included flashlights and food.

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