|We have earthquakes almost daily in Los Angeles…most of them you never feel. Some days we’ll have a dozen or more. In my experience, they have to be 4.0 or higher to even get a “sway” that I can feel. Once they get above 6.0 though, it’s a different story.
I’ve been in a couple of “big ones” that have disrupted normal daily functions, so I’ll tell you that you can make it easy on yourself and protect you and your family in case of a “shake, shake, shake!” and I’m not talking about dancing.
It’s good to stock up on the food you normally eat, etc., and a little bottled water because if we have a 6+ earthquake, it will affect traffic and the delivery of food and the water and the sewer system. Plus some gas and electric lines are likely to be out, too.
You may be “camping out” in your home or apartment for a few days! I had just arrived in LA the day before the 1994 quake, and if I hadn’t lived at Oakwood at the time, I possibly would have had a few “rough” days, since power was out in many areas for days, and grocery stores cannot run without power.
Grocery stores have 5 or 6 hours of fuel for their backup generators, but if they can’t get that refueled, then we’re stuck without food. Trucks can’t travel collapsed freeways, and no one else can either. Surface streets many times are blocked, too.
At Oakwood, we didn’t have power but they trucked in water and food daily and they got the sewer system up and running quickly. Other areas were not so lucky, and if the earthquake had been closer, then we might have been more isolated.
Luckily, we were a long way (15-20 miles) from the epicenter so our experience was mild compared to some.
I want to encourage you to keep your own stock of food and water and just get the same stuff you always do, just in larger quantities…that way you can enjoy the adventure rather than having to stand in long lines or suffer.
Another thing, if you DO stock up, then keep your plans to yourselves or the neighbors will expect you to feed them, too. I’m all for charity, but the best charity is to encourage them to stock up ahead of time too, so you are ALL prepared, because if you are the only family in a large complex, you’ll not be able to feed everyone.
Don’t barbeque in front of the neighbors if they don’t have food.
This info is to PREPARE YOU, not scare you!
Also, if a bigger earthquake happens, always try to get NEXT TO big pieces of furniture and crouch down, rather than UNDER big pieces of furniture, because there are always pockets next to large bulky objects when a building collapses…
So here’s my earthquake preparedness list to remind you of how to prepare…think of it as preparing for a “camping trip”… Great!
EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS LIST:
If you haven’t been through an earthquake
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE 7 DAYS SUPPLY OF:
- FLASHLIGHTS (One per person)
- BATTERIES (The big package so you can use the flashlights!)
- CANDLES AND MATCHES. Get twice as many as you think you’ll need.
- SAFE CANDLES! Don’t become a fire hazard!
- BOTTLED WATER: One case small bottles per person, plus a few extra gallons. I’d have 3 or 4 per person.
- Handy Wipes for cleaning, plus wet wipes to bathe with.
- SNACK FOODS/CANNED FOODS/HEALTHY SNACKS/GRANOLA BARS PROTEIN FOODS THAT DON’T HAVE TO BE COOKED OR REFRIGERATED. Get what you usually buy, just get extra for your cabinets.
- If you have a gas barbecue, you can use it, but be careful how you use it. Don’t cook indoors without ventilation, don’t cook outdoors where others might see or smell your food, etc…
- Non-Electronic games: Cards, board games, outdoor games, etc.
- MEDICINE,PRESCRIPTIONS,BAND AIDS, ETC.
- PLASTIC BAGS: To use if the sewage system is damaged! Just put them in the toilet and dump daily! Find a spot AWAY from your living area to store the used bags.
- PLUS KEEP YOUR GAS TANK TOPPED OFF!
Remember to have enough for 7 days. Hurricane Katrina reminds us how vulnerable we are. We cannot rely on the government unless we like to stand in line and beg. For more informations, download this booklet from the Los Angeles Fire Department.
All the best,