March 14, 2011 06:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time
The Big One? More Prepared Asks: How Prepared are Californians?
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The horrifying deaths and damage caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami sent shock waves through California, and caused many people to wonder if they and their communities are prepared for a major natural disaster. The answer, according to California emergency preparedness specialist, More Prepared, is that while preparedness in California has increased in recent years, much work remains to be done.
“Straps should be used to secure furniture, water heaters, electronics and other heavy objects. There are many good bracing systems and most are easy to install”
Organizations such as the California Emergency Management Agency have done much to raise public awareness about the danger of earthquakes and the need to be prepared. A recent survey showed that 80-percent of Californians keep first aid kits, flashlights and batteries in their homes. However, relatively few have taken crucial further steps to ensure the safety of their families and property.
According to More Prepared president Mina Arnao, one basic step that many people neglect is to have an adequate and safe water supply. Households should maintain a supply of at least 3 gallons per person for emergency use. While some presume that the water in their water heaters can function as an emergency supply, that water can be hard to access and may not be safe due to sediment deposits that often build up in water heaters.
“A better choice is to use a water barrel storage system made for emergency use,” says Arnao, “When used with a chemical water preservative, water can be kept in them safely for up to five years.”
Additionally, Arnao notes people often neglect to secure bookcases and other heavy furniture in their homes. Falling furniture is the number one cause of injury in earthquakes. “Straps should be used to secure furniture, water heaters, electronics and other heavy objects. There are many good bracing systems and most are easy to install,” she observes. “Picture hooks are also available that can keep people from being struck and hurt by heavy, glass frames.”
Californians might also consider buying quake alarms for their homes, Arnao notes. The economical warning devices sound an instant alarm when sensing the “P” wave from an earthquake, which typically arrives ahead of the quake’s slower and more destructive “S” wave. Japan’s “P” wave warning system is credited with saving thousands of lives in last week’s disaster.“A quake alarm can wake you up so that you can immediately take cover and tend to other family members,” Arnao says. “As in any disaster, seconds matter in an earthquake.”
More Prepared is an emergency preparedness specialist located in Hawthorne, California. www.moreprepared.com.
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