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Mission Viejo community says NO to drugs, YES to emergency preparedness

The Mission Viejo community is still celebrating the success of this year’s Walk Against Drugs, a longtime event designed to promote healthy choices and drug-free lifestyles.

On Saturday, thousands – sporting red T-shirts – took to the streets and walked up and down La Paz Road from Mission Viejo High School to Oso Viejo Community Park. Once again, this event united City, Sheriff’s Department, schools, businesses, residents and community groups in sharing the message.

Participants met at Mission Viejo High School and walked along Chrisanta Drive, before turning east on La Paz Road and walking past Marguerite Parkway. Josh Stevens, a singer-songwriter and Mission Viejo High graduate, served as the event’s keynote speaker as well as the inspiration behind this year’s theme, “Play the right key, be drug-free.”

Along with the walk, for the 10th year, the City of Mission Viejo hosted the South County Disaster Preparedness Expo along the Village Green.  The event combines local, county and state resources to educate folks on the importance of emergency preparedness.
An array of first-response agencies from throughout the region were on hand including the County Emergency Management Bureau; Orange County Fire Authority; Orange County Sheriff’s Department; 2-1-1; Ready OC; Red Cross; local water districts; and the National Weather Service.

Members of each agency spoke to fairgoers about different aspects of emergency and disaster preparedness. Mission Viejo Animal Services emphasized the need to remember your pets by preparing emergency kits for them, too.

The City is grateful to the participating agencies, schools, teachers, students, volunteers and – most importantly – the folks who choose to live drug-free lives.