Red Cross: Bay Area unprepared for 'Big One'
By Matt Wynkoop
July 21, 2007
Even though earthquakes are considered commonplace in California,
a recent American Red Cross survey suggests most Bay Area residents
would not have the basic supplies or planning necessary to handle
the aftermath of a major tremor.
Bay Area Red Cross officials say Friday's magnitude 4.2
quake should serve as a wake-up call for residents to be prepared
for future temblors in case the "big one'' occurs in our
region any time soon.
In response to survey results that suggest around 83 percent
of local residents are not prepared for a an emergency, the chapter
has launched a new campaign, "Prepare Bay Area.'' Officials
are offering a number of steps people should take before, during
and after a quake to stay safe.
Prior to the event of an earthquake, families are advised to
organize a disaster plan in which all members agree on two places
to meet should an earthquake take place, pick an out-of state
friend to be a "family contact,'' and discuss what to do
in an evacuation.
The Red Cross is reminding people to prepare and maintain a disaster
readiness kit. The kit should contain water, food, first aid,
tools and supplies, sanitation materials, and clothing and bedding.
Residents are advised to learn life-saving skills by enrolling
in a first-aid, CPR and automated external defibrillator training
course, Red Cross officials suggested.
After an earthquake:
-- Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further
danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy
shoes and work gloves.
-- Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.
-- Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards.
Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it's leaking. Keep
in mind, only a professional should turn it back on.
-- Listen to the radio for instructions.
-- Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover and
-- Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home
-- Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
More details on disaster readiness kits, family planning and
safety training can be found at www.redcrossbayarea.org.
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