Earthquake Readiness: a Mini-Checklist

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By Marla Petal

The May 18th and 23rd California earthquakes of magnitude 4.7 were small as expected California earthquakes go. The expected "Big One" in Southern or Northern California will be at least 100 times larger than what was experience last week.  For our organization, disaster prevention is ongoing, so we are very busy now because we swing into action before rather than after a big earthquake. As the title of a prescient American Red Cross video puts it: "It’s too late when it shakes".  We hope, that these smaller earthquakes serve as reminders that trigger people to discuss their family disaster plans; check to see that their schools have taken measures for building safety (that building contents are fastened so they don’t pose a hazard); and ensure that orderly “drop, cover and hold” and building evacuation drills are practiced. Last week’s earthquakes were another reminder to refresh evacuation supplies, and re-confirm family reunification plans with all family members and child care providers. Also think about safety measures in different places and scenarios, and sign up to learn response skills. 

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