News / USA

Californians Urged to Get Ready for Earthquakes

Red Cross education specialist Lisa Klink stresses the importance of having a disaster kit ready.
Red Cross education specialist Lisa Klink stresses the importance of having a disaster kit ready.

Multimedia

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year served as dramatic reminders that people everywhere should be ready for disasters.  Here in the United States, scientists say California will one day be rocked by a major earthquake.  Local authorities are trying to ensure that everyone is ready.

Children "duck, cover and hold on" in practices that remind all Californians to be ready for an earthquake.  

A 6.7 magnitude quake struck near the Los Angeles suburb of Northridge in 1994, killing 57 people and injuring thousands.

Experts say a much bigger temblor, possibly of magnitude 7.8, is likely to hit near Los Angeles on the southern San Andreas Fault in coming years. It could result in thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damage.

Northern California could also be struck, as San Francisco was in the disastrous earthquake and fire of 1906.

The American Red Cross sells disaster kits, and everyone should have one, says Red Cross education specialist Lisa Klink.  They should also have a stock of essential supplies for a disaster.

"You really may be stuck on your own for a couple of days and should really be prepared for that," said Klink.  "We advise people to have a least three day's worth of food and water and supplies at home, ideally a week, but at the very least, three days."

Some Californians take the message to heart.  Nicole Perzik, who is walking her dogs in the park, says she's ready.

"I've got water and all kinds of supplies in case something happens, especially when you own pets," said Perzik.  "That's what makes me feel more aware."

California is home to people from all over the world, and part of the challenge is getting out the message that they need to be prepared.  

Some have experienced other disasters, including tornadoes and flooding that recently devastated parts of the American Midwest.   Midwestern transplant Barry Goldenberg says he has experienced those and is ready for earthquakes.

"They don't bother me as much as they do some other people who may be from Los Angeles or from California because maybe I'm used to natural disasters," noted Goldenberg.

California has some of the strictest building codes in the world, but officials worry about schools and say that even in safe buildings, people can be injured.

They need to be prepared, says Mark Benthien of the Southern California Earthquake Center.

"Our real first responders are ourselves and our neighbors," said Benthien.  "The first government responders would be the firefighters and such, and they'll come, but they may not come for quite some time."

The American Red Cross and local fire departments offer preparedness training, and officials there say everyone needs an emergency plan in place in advance of a disaster.

Film producer Stanley Isaacs took a preparedness course and he and his wife were ready for the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

"I was back from location on a movie and I had assembled a vest, because I had a vest that I was wearing on location, and I put flashlight, tools and stuff in there, and the night of the quake, I put it on and I handed her a radio and a flashlight," recalled Isaacs.  "And she felt comforted and never forgot the fact that I had given that to her."

He created and now sells the so-called Grab-N-Go survival vest, complete with emergency supplies, including water, a radio and flashlight.

Scientists say a major quake will rock California.  The only questions are when it will happen and if people are ready.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid