Red Cross Urges Residents to Prepare Now for Earthquakes

Long Beach, August 9, 2012 – Southern California has been jolted by a few earthquakes recently. Because local residents may be wondering what to do if a larger earthquake were to occur, the American Red Cross urges everyone to update their family evacuation plan, emergency preparedness kit and get better prepared for earthquakes.

“By taking three basic preparedness actions you can become Red Cross Ready for earthquakes, the steps are 1) Get a kit, 2) Make a plan and 3) Be informed,” said Margaret Arbini Madonna, CEO of the Greater Long Beach Chapter. “The Greater Long Beach Chapter is here to help you get prepared for specific disasters like earthquakes. Even if you already have a household disaster plan, it’s important that you revisit and update your communication plan and check your emergency preparedness kit for expired items.”

The American Red Cross offers free community disaster education presentation for groups or organizations. Trained volunteers will teach you how to get a kit, make a plan and be informed and the steps you need to take to prepare you and your family for the next disaster.

The American Red Cross recommends the following preparedness actions:

Get or assemble an emergency preparedness kit:

A portable kit, stored in a sturdy, easy to carry, water resistant container should have enough supplies for three days. Check your kit and replace perishable stock every six months. Whether you purchase a kit or choose to build your own, your three-day kit should include:

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
  • Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.
  • Prepare a home earthquake plan:

    The American Red Cross urges each and every household to develop a household disaster plan.

  • Choose a safe place in every room–under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
  • Practice drop, cover and hold on at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. Teach children to drop, cover, and hold on!
  • Choose an out-of-town family contact.
  • Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.
  • Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Keep your training current.
  • Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.
  • Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
  • Be informed

  • Find out how local authorities will contact you during a disaster. Listen to local media broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest storm conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Contact your Greater Long Beach Chapter for details about free community disaster education presentations that may be arranged or are available in your workplace, school or community organization.
  • Get trained in CPR and first aid so you will know how to respond to emergencies in the event that help is delayed.
  • For more information on earthquake preparedness, scheduling a free community disaster education presentation contact the Greater Long Beach Chapter of the American Red Cross at (562) 595-6341 or visit www.redcrosslb.org.