While a super-storm like Sandy that just pummeled the east coast is highly unlikely to show up in Southern California anytime soon, we are definitely exposed to our share of natural disasters. You don’t have to be a resident here very long to be well aware that we have our own share of natural calamities – earthquakes, fires, and even floods. While much of the damage is unavoidable, there are ways to limit the effects on your family and your neighborhood. The California Association of Realtors sums it up best in the bullet points below:
- It’s important to be prepared for a natural disaster and to have a plan in place prior to one happening.
- One way to prepare is to hold a neighborhood meeting and take an inventory of neighbors’ skills.
- Identify people who have medical, electrical, child care, leadership, firefighting, and survival skills; those who own chain saws, citizens band radios, four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, and water purifiers; as well as residents who are willing and able to be a runner/bicycler to deliver messages if telephone lines are down.
- Homeowners can contact local police and fire departments, city/county Office of Emergency Services, or American Red Cross chapter to arrange for speakers and training workshops.
Many of the local beach cities have CERT programs for residents. You’ll learn how to help your neighbors in the event of an emergency as well as important lifesaving skills such as first aid and CPR. LA County has several emergency preparedness sources as well (visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eprp/media/doc/pdf/Vital-Links.pdf for more information). The bottom line is that you need to take action. Create an emergency plan for your family; talk to your neighbors and develop a neighborhood plan; and update your plan often. Be safe!