(Los Angeles, CA)— In the wake of Japan’s terrible earthquake and tsunami tragedy, Senator Kevin de León together with the California Emergency Management Authority held an event for schoolchildren today at Yorkdale Elementary Schoolto highlight the need for earthquake preparedness in Southern California.
“Preparation for earthquakes is just like practice for basketball, soccer, or any other sport you may play - If you don’t practice, you won’t know what to do during game time,” stated De León.
When asked why it’s important to know this safety info, 5th grader Jose Cruz Garcia said, “If you aren’t prepared you might break a bone or something, but if you know what to do, you can get to a safe place.”
The first 72 hours after a major emergency or disaster are critical. Electricity, gas, water, and telephones may not be working. In addition, public safety services such as police and fire departments will be busy handling serious crises. You should be prepared to be self-sufficient — able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones — for at least three days following a major emergency. To do so, keep on hand in a central location the following.
An Emergency Supplies Checklist was provided to students and can be found online:
10 Ways YOU Can be Disaster Prepared
- Identify Your Risk- What are the hazards where you live or work? Find out what natural or human caused disasters pose a risk for you. Do you live near a flood plain, an earthquake fault, or in a high fire danger area? Are you prepared for an unexpected human-made disaster that can strike any time? Does your neighborhood or community have a disaster plan?
- Create a Family Disaster Plan- Your family needs a plan that tells everyone: where to meet if you have to evacuate; who you’ve identified as an out-of-state “family contact”; how to get emergency information in your community; and how to take care of your family pets.
- Practice Your Disaster Plan- After you have sat down with your family and written your plan — practice it. Start by having family members meet at a designated spot outside your home — like you would after a fire or after the shaking stops. Know how to respond in the event of any disaster — whether to stay put indoors, or whether to evacuate your neighborhood by car. If your family needs to evacuate, know the proper evacuation procedures and routes as determined by your local OES office.
- Build a Disaster Supply Kit for Your Home- If you are stranded in your car or have to be self-sufficient at home until help arrives, you need to have a disaster kit with you.
- Prepare Your Children- Talk to your kids about what the risks are and what your family will do if disaster strikes.
- Don't Forget Those with Special Needs- Infants, seniors and those with special needs must not be forgotten.Make sure that supplies for your infant are in your kit and that you have items such as medications, oxygen tank, or other medical supplies that seniors or those with special needs may require. Check out Cal EMA's tips for preparing the elderly.
- Learn CPR and First Aid- Contact you local chapter of the American Red Cross today and get trained on basic first aid and CPR. Your training could save the life of a loved one or neighbor following a disaster.
- Eliminate Hazards in Your Home and the Workplace- You must secure the contents of your home or office to reduce hazards, especially during shaking from an earthquake or from an explosion.
- Understand Post-9/11 Risks- Disaster preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
- Get Involved, Volunteer- Donate blood,join a local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), educate your neighbor, or volunteer with your local American Red Cross.
Senator Kevin de León represents the 22nd District including all or parts of the City of Los Angeles, Alhambra, East Los Angeles, Florence-Graham, Maywood, San Marino, South Pasadena, Vernon, and Walnut Park. He is the Senate Democratic Caucus Chair and is a member of the following committees: Appropriations; Elections and Constitutional Amendments; Energy, Utilities and Communications; Governmental Organization; Health; Rules and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.