Beset by frequent wildfires and facing the inevitability of a future major earthquake, Californians need to prepare if they are to become masters of disaster.
That message and tips and tools required to help keep communities safe were provided at a September 20 “Preparathon” in Los Angeles, an expo designed to advance ongoing local, state, national and international disaster management campaigns.
Sponsored by an alliance of city, state and federal emergency management agencies, the Los Angeles Preparathon was one of many events organized to promote National Preparedness Month, an awareness campaign initiated by President Obama. It was also a major launch of California’s promotion of the annual “Great ShakeOut,” earthquake drills that governments, businesses and community groups will conduct October 15 in quake-prone regions in the United States and abroad.
The two-hour Preparathon was held at a venue next to Dodger Stadium shortly before a baseball game, luring some of the thousands of fans who arrived well before the players took the field.
“We’re at Dodger Stadium because we need to go to the events that are of interest to people,” said Kate Long, earthquake program deputy for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
“Californians need to understand disaster risks and how much control we can have over outcomes in those situations.”
A “shake trailer” that simulated the affects of a temblor, free food bars and a no-cost raffle of disaster kits were among the attractions at the Preparathon. Emergency kits are typically assembled and produced for the home. However, emergency management officials at the event were also providing information on how to be prepared for disasters away from home.
“If you’re stranded on the road during a disaster, you may need sturdy shoes, blankets, a change of clothes, food bars and any necessary medication,” said Chris Ipsen, public information officer for the City of Los Angeles’ Emergency Management Department.
If you are a homeowner in California, you will need earthquake insurance. Such coverage is not provided under home insurance policies. They are offered by the not-for-profit California Earthquake Authority (CEA).
“This event is an opportunity to remind everyone that earthquakes happen and that you don’t have to live in fear if you’re prepared,” said CEA chief executive Glenn Pomeroy.
Emergency management agencies say the following are among the steps that can help individuals, families and organizations be prepared for disasters.
Individuals and organizations in California can participate in the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drills on October 15 by filling out a registration form at www.ShakeOut.org/California.