April the month to prepare for quake

April 16, 2016

California is no stranger to earthquakes and April is Earthquake Preparedness Month. While we do not know when or where the next big earthquake will occur, we can all be prepared and know what to do during and after an earthquake.

If a major earthquake occurs, there will likely be a loss of power, limited access to water, gas lines may break, phones and cell towers might be inoperable, roads could be impassable, and you might not be able to access medical assistance for days. Your only access to news and information may be by radio and you should be prepared to survive on your own for at least three days and nights.

Additionally, you need to be prepared and consider: Where will your other family members be? Will you be able to get home and/or to your family? What will you do if you are unable to stay in your home? Which services, ATM access, gasoline, daily medical needs, etc. ..., on which you rely on might not be available?

There are seven steps listed in the “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country” brochure that you can take to begin to prepare your home and family:

1. Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them;

2. Create a disaster-preparedness plan;

3. Create disaster kits;

4. Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them;

5. Protect yourself during earthquake shaking;

6. After the quake, check for injuries and damage; and

7. When safe, continue to follow your disaster-preparedness plan.

Cities, counties, and other community organizations organize earthquake/emergency preparedness fairs where you can obtain additional information about how to be prepared before, during, and after an earthquake.

You can also find additional information about earthquake preparedness on the California Office of Emergency Services website at www.caloes.ca.gov/For-Individuals-Families/Earthquake-Preparedness. The website provides resources and tips on how to create your earthquake preparedness plan today.

The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to survive and recover after an earthquake and I encourage everyone to take the steps necessary to prepare yourself and your family.


*Published by the Santa Cruz Sentinel on 4/16/16