Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Emergency Preparedness Academy 2013

A variety of events are on the calendar:  Black History Month, Mardi Gras and more!

January 31, 2013 | 5 min reading time
Charlene Deeken, Director of Public Safety
Photo by Cathy Smentkowski Title: Portrait of Charlene Deeken, Director of Public Safety
Source: Cathy Smentkowski


Emergency Preparedness Academy 2013

As a community, it is imperative we prepare for emergencies.  To that end, the American Red Cross will be hosting Emergency Preparedness Academy 2013 on Thursday, March 28, from 8 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. at the Edward Jones North Campus (Highway 270 and Dorsett Road), 130 Edward Jones Blvd.  From businesses with developed continuity plans, to schools and community organizations new to preparedness, participants will learn ways to develop and refine their emergency strategies.  Early registration discounts will be offered until February 15.  For all the details, visit the web site or call (314) 516-2755.


Upcoming Events

 Feb. 1 -- Black History Month Kick-off, Missouri History Museum, 10 a.m.

Celebrate Black History Month at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Writers, poets, dramatists, and musicians will open Black History Month with a series of readings and performances, including a discussion of Afrofuturism by Professor Reynaldo Anderson and musical tribute to Miles Davis by Lamar Harris.  The free kick-off event will take place on Friday from Noon to 5 p.m. in MacDermott Grand Hall and Lee Auditorium.  See the web site for the complete schedule of events.

 Feb. 2 -- Citizen's Emergency Preparedness Program, William J. Harrison Education Center, 9 a.m.

Are you prepared in case of an emergency? Would you like to learn how to keep you and your family safe during a disaster until emergency personnel arrive?  The Citizen's Emergency Preparedness Program that will take place this Saturday will provide a step-by-step approach to learning about local emergency plans, identifying hazards that affect our local area and developing a disaster plan and supply kit.  There is no fee for the program which will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the William J. Harrison Education Center located at 3140 Cass Avenue in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood.  To learn more, call (314) 984-7777.

Feb. 2 & 3 -- Orchid Society of St. Louis Annual Show and Sale, Missouri Botanical Garden, 9 a.m. 

The Orchid Society of Greater St. Louis will present its Annual Orchid Show and Sale this Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Beaumont Room.  Price of admission is $5 plus regular garden admission.  Free for garden members.  To learn more, call (314) 487-5284.

 Feb. 2 -- Youth Chess Tournament, Youth Learning Center, 10 a.m.

Know a student that enjoys chess?  The Regional Youth Chess Tournament will take place this Saturday at the Youth Learning Center at 4471 Olive Street in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  Open to all students in the 5th through 8th grades.  Registration at the door will begin at 9:15 a.m. and matches will begin at 10 a.m.  Cost is $5 per person.  For more information and to pre-register, visit the web site or call (314) 361-2437.

Feb. 2 & 3 -- Taste of Soulard, various locations, 11 a.m. 

Several of Soulard's fine establishments will be offering samples of their signature dishes this Saturday and Sunday as part of the annual Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard event.  Attendees will be able to stroll through Soulard using the seven taste tickets from their ticket booklet to sample six signature dishes and one taste of Southern Comfort from the participating restaurants and pubs of Soulard.  Attendees will also be able to use the free trolley service on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Booklets may be purchased in advance, online or on the day of the event. Go to the web site to learn more. 

Feb. 3 -- Beggin' Pet Parade, Allen & Menard, 1 p.m.

Is your pet a party animal?  Does he like costumes?  And most importantly, does he like bacon?  If so, then you need to register him for one of the largest pet parades in the world.  The Beggin' Pet Parade will take place this Sunday in Soulard.  Registration will begin at 10 a.m. and the parade will step off at 1 p.m. from the corner of Allen and Menard.  For more details, visit the web site.

 Feb. 3 -- Wiener Dog Derby, Soulard Market Park, 2 p.m.

Dachshund lovers and their lovable companions will descend upon Soulard Market Park at 9th and Lafayette this Sunday for the annual PETsMART Wiener Dog Derby.  Registration will begin at 10 a.m.  Registration fee is $10 per dachshund.  The first heat will take place at 2 p.m.  Invite your family and friends to join you for an afternoon of fun at the Wiener Dog Derby.  To learn more, visit the web site.

Feb. 3 -- Free Concert, Second Presbyterian Church, 4 p.m.

Everyone is invited to attend the free concert that will take place this Sunday at 4 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, located at 4501 Westminster Place in the Central West End.  The Emmy Award-winning Bosman Twins will perform their renditions of jazz, R&B, funk, and gospel.  Need for information?  Call (314) 367-0366.

 Feb. 7 -- The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut (earthquake drill), 10:15 a.m.

You are invited to join millions of people who will Drop, Cover & Hold at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 in the 2013 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut!  Last year more than 12.5 million people were registered in ShakeOut drills worldwide.  Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes.  To sign up for the largest earthquake drill in Central U.S. history on Feb. 7, visit the web site.

Save the Date

Feb. 6 -- 10 -- St. Louis Boat and Sportshow, America's Center, 5 p.m.

Feb. 8 -- 11th Annual Mayor's Mardi Gras Ball, City Hall, 6 p.m.

Feb. 9 – River City Casino Grand Parade, Busch Stadium, 11 a.m.

Feb. 9 -- Trivia Night, St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation, 6 p.m.

Feb. 9 – Trivia Night, St. Wenceslaus Parish Hall, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 9 -- Trivia Night, City Garden Montessori School, 6 p.m.

Feb. 10 – African American Arts Festival, St. LouisCommunity CollegeForest Park Campus, 1 p.m.

Feb. 10 -- Run for the Chocolate 5K, Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels, 9 a.m.

Feb. 10 -- Celebrate the Gospel Concert, Missouri Botanical Garden, 3 p.m.

Feb. 13 – Fish Fry, St. Stephen Protomartyr Church, 5 p.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight? If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration. You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.


St. Louis Community Garden Summit

The community is invited to hear from national experts on community gardening, horticulture and community development at the 4th Annual Community Garden Summit on Saturday, February 16.  Participate in networking opportunities with gardeners and people working in sustainable practices across the region.  The summit will be held at St. Louis University High School, 4970 Oakland in the Kings Oak neighborhood and will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Early bird registration special is $5 for community gardeners and $10 for the general public.  The rate will double after Feb. 2.  Questions?  Call (314) 588-9600 x 101 during regular business hours or email


Charlene Deeken
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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