As Californians we are generally eternal optimists and that's what most of us love about living in this wonderful state. Unfortunately, optimism, sunshine and a healthy lifestyle doesn't stop nature from doing what she wants to do. According to the experts, the question is not "what if we have a large scale earthquake in LA?" but "when?" and last week's 6.4 and 7.1 tumblers were kinder reminder for us Angelinos but a lot less kind for the residents of Ridgecrest, Calif .
So let's be smart about this inevitable upcoming issue by taking some preventative measures that can protect lives and properties:
Make sure your home’s foundation has been properly retrofitted for earthquake safety.
Ensure that the water heater (tank) is properly strapped.
Know the location of and how to operate each of the main utility services; obtain any tools needed to do so.
Secure tall and heavy furnishings or decor, such as bookcases and TVs, so they won’t topple over.
Store breakable and heavy objects on lower shelves and cabinets.
Install latches on upper cabinet doors to keep them from swinging open spilling items out.
Know the safe spots in each room away from swinging doors and glass windows.
Keep a pair of sturdy (and/or steel toe) shoes next to your bed.
Have a secondary exit from upper floors, in case the staircase is blocked, damaged or burning.
Secure items in the garage that could fall and block or damage the vehicles.
Create a Disaster Plan with a designated meeting place outside the residence.
Drill all aspects of the plan so it can be executed in the dark and under stress.
If you are a renter, ask your landlord to confirm that everything is up to date in compliance with earthquake regulations.
Create a disaster kit with the following items included:
Enough water for all people for a week
A flashlight and new batteries
An operable fire extinguisher (that you know how to use and have tested yourself)
A battery-operated radio that works
A first-aid kit with medical supplies
Any personal medicines needed
Freeze dried, canned (with can-opener) and dried foods (no cooking required) for all people and pets to last a few days
Tools needed to operate the main utilities.
A typical water heater tank is a source of 40 or more gallons of clean water. There’s a hose bib at the bottom of the tank to drain the water as needed.
Maintain a minimum of a half tank of gas in vehicles in case of emergency.
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