SEE redcross.org/lomaprieta for photos and stories of the Red Cross response
SAN FRANCISCO (October 16, 2019) — In memory of the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region urges residents of Northern California to take the necessary steps to prepare their households for an emergency.
“The Loma Prieta earthquake and this week’s moderate earthquakes serve as a reminder that earthquakes are an unavoidable fact of life here in California, so we should not be caught off-guard,” said Jennifer Adrio, CEO at American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region. “The next earthquake could be even more devastating, and a little knowledge and preparation can make all the difference between life and death.”
The 15-second 6.9-magnitude quake caused widespread damage from San Francisco to Monterey County on October 17, 1989. Within hours, Red Cross volunteers, many of whom were personally impacted, began working side by side with our government and community partners to provide safe shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support, and health services to people in need
In the weeks and months that followed, 7,824 members of the Red Cross workforce:
· Provided lifesaving medical supplies
· Housed nearly 65,000 people in 45 shelters
· Served 642,785 meals in shelters or from 43 mobile feeding vehicles
· Distributed 750,000 pounds of blankets, food, and clothing to 15,000 families
Contributions received before and after the quake also enabled the Red Cross to help rebuild the lives of Northern Californians. The Red Cross helped to fund long-term recovery projects like:
· Rebuilding of 1,165 homes in six Bay Area counties
· Drilling for new wells and repairing water pumps in Santa Cruz County
· Restructuring an access bridge in Monterey County
In the 30 years since Loma Prieta, the Red Cross and its partners have been working to prepare Northern California for the next catastrophic disasters. After a major earthquake, families should be prepared with enough food, water, and emergency supplies to last up to two weeks until help can arrive. The Red Cross recommends three easy steps:
BUILD A KIT. See full details here.
Pack the following items in an easy-to-carry container: a gallon of water per person, per day; non-perishable food; flashlight and hand-crank or battery-powered radio; extra batteries; sanitation and personal hygiene items; copies of important papers; extra cash and any medical, pet or baby supplies family members may need.
MAKE A PLAN. Find full details and easy-to-use plan templates here.
· Have all members of your household help create your emergency plan that includes your pets.
· Consider what emergencies could happen where you live, what to do if you are separated, and how will you let loved ones know you are safe.
· Talk about earthquakes with your family so that everyone knows what to do in case of an earthquake. Discussing ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children
· Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace, and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
· Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs. Have a professional install flexible fittings to avoid gas or water leaks.
· Do not hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, near beds, couches, and anywhere people sleep or sit.
· Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
· Anchor top-heavy, tall, and freestanding furniture such as bookcases, china cabinets to wall studs to keep these from toppling over.
· Check at your workplace and your children's schools and daycare centers to learn about their earthquake emergency plans.
BE INFORMED. Learn how to get fully informed about emergencies here.
· Find out how local authorities will notify you that an emergency is happening.
· Practice DROP, COVER and HOLD ON
· Make sure at least one household member is trained in first aid, and CPR in case help is delayed during a disaster.
· Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
· Learn how to use a fire extinguish. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
· Download the FREE Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to information about what to do to before, during, and after an earthquake. The app also includes content on other disasters and emergencies and provides locations of open Red Cross shelters.
For more earthquake preparedness tips, visit redcross.org/prepare.
About the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/NorCalCoastal or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNorCal or Facebook at RedCrossNorCalCoastal