5 Helpful Tips to Prepare for a Disaster
It’s never too late to prepare for a disaster—except for when one hits. With more than 15,000 faults in California, 500 of which are active, it is important to prepare for what’s to come should a major earthquake strike. “Earthquakes are sudden and unpredictable which leaves very little time to prepare on the spot,” says Carole Snyder RN, program manager of Emergency Preparedness for PIH Health. “This is why it is important to prepare and plan ahead so that there is less time spent trying to figure out what to do and more time spent on taking action.”
Here are 5 tips to get you started with a disaster/emergency preparedness plan.
- Create an emergency plan with your family. Talk about where to meet if separated, what to do in an emergency (i.e. drop cover and hold for an earthquake), important phone numbers, etc. Have comfortable tennis shoes near each person’s bedside should you need to get up and leave abruptly.
- Look at your home insurance policy. If you do not have earthquake insurance, look into adding that on to your current policy. This will help cover costs for any rebuilding you may need due to potential structural damage.
- Make a disaster kit for your household. This should include flashlights, batteries, blankets, a first aid kit, dry or canned foods and water. You will need 1 gallon of water per day per person in the house. You can also find premade backpacks and kits online. Make sure you have enough for all members in your household for 3-5 days.
- Stash your cash. Be sure to have smaller bills tucked away in a safe place for easy access. Cash can come in handy for an array of reason’s, satellites may be down, banks may be closed and roads may be impacted.
- Download an emergency application on your phone. Or sign up for emergency alerts from local organizations. Shake Alert LA: https://www.shakealert.org/
Most importantly, try to stay calm in the event of a disaster to keep yourself and others around you safe. PIH Health is one of 13 Disaster Resource Centers (DRC) to eight local hospitals and two clinics under the Los Angeles County’s Hospital Preparedness Program. For additional information on PIH Health disaster resources, visit: PIHHealth.org/DisasterPreparedness.