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

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid