Are You Prepared to Evacuate?

Millions of people have been affected by the natural disasters that occurred recently. The hurricanes and earthquake have destroyed countless homes, buildings, and even took the lives of innocent people. As residents of California, we do not have to worry about hurricanes, but we do have other natural disasters to fear, such as earthquakes and wildfires.

Ask yourself: if a mandatory evacuation was ordered in your area, are you ready to leave? Do you know who to call? Do you know what to take? Do you know where to go? Depending on the situation or the type of natural disaster, you may only get a moment’s notice before you need to evacuate your home.

As the news broadcasts and headlines have portrayed, millions of people in Florida were ordered to evacuate, which has caused panic, stress, traffic, and a shortage of many necessities such as food, water, and gas. As a Californian, even if you cannot fathom the idea of being in a similar situation, you need to be prepared so that you are not completely helpless if a disaster strikes.

Articles published by AARP and the Los Angeles Times will give you some ideas on how to prepare for an emergency. It is an extremely good investment to buy a fire-proof lock box to keep important documents, such as copies of driver’s license, passport/green card/visa, Social Security card, any insurance papers, credit cards, medical prescriptions, birth/marriage certificates, and some cash. You should keep this box somewhere hidden, but also in a convenient place to grab and go when needed. Along with this box, you should have a bag or a backpack with a few necessities, such as a first-aid kit, flashlight, non-perishable food, bottles of water, change of clothes, and any medication you take should also be organized and within reach.

Being prepared to evacuate can be more complex and difficult if you have kids or pets, have a disability, or have no means of transportation. Make sure you take a few minutes to think about how you will save your kids and pets. What will you pack for them? Do they have any special needs that require your attention? If you have a disability or have no means of transportation and you are living alone, you should take this opportunity to speak to your family, friends, or neighbors about an evacuation plan.

Make sure to read the full articles published by AARP and the Los Angeles Times to get more ideas on being prepared for an emergency.

Resources: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2016/hurricane-survival-preparedness-tips.html?intcmp=AE-HP-FLXSLDR-SLIDE1-RL2

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-emergency-supplies-20170908-story.html

How to prepare your home for an Earthquake and what to do after one occurs.

California has experienced quite a few earthquakes in the last few months and it is suspected that there are more to come. Most people have prepared plans with their families on what to do to protect themselves during an earthquake. You know to take cover away from all windows and large pieces of furniture but what should you do to prepare your home?

The first step is to make sure all large pieces of furniture and hot water heaters are secured to the walls. You also want to make sure that you do not have any heavy objects over your bed such as large framed pictures or mirrors, although these may look great the risk of them falling off the wall in a large quake are great. If the quake struck at night the risk of you getting crushed by these objects is even greater.

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Many times a large earthquake will disrupt gas connections. The carbon monoxide detector will warn you if there are unsafe levels in your home and you will have time to leave safely. You can also call the gas company and have them come out to do an inspection of your home to make sure that there are not any leaks and that all connections are still secure.

If the power is out try to use only battery-powered lanterns. If there is a gas leak lighting candles can ignite a fire. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Open all cabinets carefully, especially if there are heavy or potentially harmful martials inside. The earthquake might have shifted the objects around and they may fall on you so be cautious.