The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan
are reminders for Californians to prepare for the next earthquake here.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 63% chance that the
San Francisco region will be hit with a 6.7 or higher earthquake in the
next 30 years.
When emergencies happen - whether they are extreme storms, earthquakes,
tsunamis, or floods - being prepared is the key to mitigating injuries
and damage that are likely to follow. If you don’t already have an
emergency preparedness plan, you need to make one.
Here are several steps to help prepare:
– By understanding the potential emergencies and risks that could
happen, you can prepare appropriately and take action to reduce a future
Get a Kit
– It is best to think about the necessities for survival: food, water
and cash. For a basic survival kit, be sure to have non-perishable
food, clean water, flashlights, batteries, warm clothing, a first aid
kit, available cash, matches, and a wrench to turn off utilities. A complete list is available at the site of the American Red Cross under its “Preparing and Getting Trained” tab.
Make a Plan
– Emergencies strike at any time, so it is critical to devise a plan
that ensures your family can contact one another, how you will meet,
and what should be done in different situations. Distribute an
emergency information card among family members with basic information
that outlines where you will meet and people to contact if disaster
your home can dramatically reduce damages from an earthquake, saving
both lives and money. Even a moderate quake can topple chimneys and
push homes off of foundations. To determine if a contractor is licensed
and bonded you can go to the Contractors State License Board and use the link “check the status.”
Purchasing earthquake insurance can give you financial assistance to pay
for damages. An interactive survey of homeowner insurance and
earthquake insurance premiums is available at: www.insurance.ca.gov.
A list of all homeowners and earthquake insurers is also available on
the same website. Most homeowner insurers also participate in the federal flood insurance program.
If appropriate for your personal circumstances, you can reduce your
flood and earthquake insurance costs by buying structure coverage and
skipping the coverage for contents.
Protect yourself by being prepared for emergencies. The San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
provide valuable information. I encourage you to visit these sites.
The websites of many local fire departments offer more information about
emergency preparedness plans. Contact my office if I can provide
further assistance. Being prepared is the key to surviving, and
recovering from, a disaster or emergency.
Click here to download more extensive preparedness information.
Want to share an article or opinion? Unlike some other Pacifica blogs, Fix Pacifica won't bury viewpoints we disagree with. Send your submission, along with your name, email@example.com.
People may comment anonymously, but any comments that degenerate into 1) personal attacks against individual blog participants; 2) incomprehensible gibberish; or 3) attempts to turn conversations into grade-school playground brawls, will be removed.