September is National Disaster Preparedness Month but you can be prepared ANYTIME! Scroll down for helpful links AND see attachments below!
Educate Yourself and Family Members: Contact your local emergency management office, City of Lancaster, City of Palmdale, Western States Seismic Council , or the American Red Cross chapter for more information on earthquakes. Also read the attachements below and see the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) and Department of Public Health websites for information on how to build a survival kit, plan ahead, and for safety tips to protect your property from earthquakes. Teach children and have drills on how to "DROP, COVER AND HOLD-ON", and on how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information as suggested during the Great California Shake Out Drill and at PrepareSoCal. Teach all family members how and when it is necessary to turn off gas and electricity. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a fun way of teaching about emergency preparedness. Their graphic novel, "Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic" demonstrates the importance of being prepared in an entertaining way that teens and people of all ages will enjoy. Teens may also like to volunteer with the American Red Cross AV Youth Corps too! View your child's SCHOOL SITE SAFETY PLAN for more information.
Know the 7 Steps to Prepare for Earthquake and have enough disaster supplies on hand, such as: Flashlight and extra batteries, portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries, first aid kit and manual, emergency food and water, nonelectric can opener, essential medicines and eyeglasses, cash and credit cards, and sturdy shoes. Learn how to keep food safe during a disaster. More planning suggestions may be found through the County of Los Angeles Emergency Survival Plan.
Training! "CERT" Basic Training is designed to prepare you to help yourself and to help others in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Emergency services personnel will not be able to help everyone immediately, but you can make a difference by using your CERT training to save lives and protect property. Perhaps take the free Community Emergency Response Team training with AntelopeValleyCERT.com, and check out these helpful training videos from CERT-L.A.! Be a part of the Citizens Corps to learn how to help yourself, your family, and your community.
Develop an Emergency Communication Plan: In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." Make sure you have established an out-of-state contact to help your entire family keep-in-touch as after a disaster you may not be able to call within California but lines MAY able to call out of state. Did you know that TEXT messages usually go through, while cell phone calls may not get through due to busy lines? Consider adding the text feature to your cell phone and your contact person's cell phone if they don't already have it. More information in spanish may be found at http://www.ready.gov/translations/spanish/.
Be ready at all times! Keep in mind, a simple power outage for 3 days may present serious problems if you are not prepared. You'll need food that doesn't require refrigeration, change of clothes, flashlights, alarm clocks with batteries, and a way to charge your cell phone battery! Individuals with access and functional needs may need some extra help. Be sure extra supplies and medicine are packed and in a "Go-Bag" which the person, caregiver and a back-up helper has ready-access to. In the example of a 3 day power outage, back-up power sources may be needed to run medical or breathing equipment. Integrate your planning to include everyone in your family that may need some extra help.
Get more information on the internet and see the attachments below. Plan ahead for any disaster so you are ready. BE READY TODAY !
"Preparation is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action." Quote from National Emergency Management Study Courses
Don't delay - PREPARE TODAY!
Originally posted 2009. Continuing Article 2010-2011-2012-2013