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New Signs Aid Statewide Earthquake Drill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Diana Martinez | Editor   
Thursday, 18 October 2012 04:26

PHOTO COURTESY OF L.A. COUNCILMEMBER MITCHELL ENGLANDER

From the student Quad area of CSUN and other areas throughout Los Angeles and the state, The Great California ShakeOut, the world's largest earthquake preparedness drill, was scheduled simultaneously to be held in unison at 10:18 a.m. today, Oct. 18.

More than 9.3 million people were registered to participate in schools, colleges, businesses, community organizations, government agencies, and households.

In addition to the California ShakeOut, other states and countries are also holding ShakeOut drills, for a grant total of more than 13.6 million participants worldwide on Oct. 18th.

This year, ahead of today's drill, city officials urged Angelenos to add "OK" and "HELP" signs to their readiness kits.

It was recommended that residents place the signs in their windows after any type of large-scale disaster to help first-responders efficiency and treat those with the most serious injuries first.

The signs, which include basic instructions for what to do after an earthquake, were produced jointly by the city in a coalition with the American Red Cross and the United States Geological Survey.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitchell Englander, chair of the council's Public Safety Committee, said the coalition plans to distribute 50,000 copies of the O.K./Help signs.

"We're at the epicenter of major disasters, so we know it is not a question of if, but when the big one will strike," he said. "Just like an earthquake survival kit, the OK/HELP sign should be in every home."

Earthquakes are more than drills to valley residents, who know first hand the extreme devastation that they can cause. Englander's Northwest San Fernando Valley council district includes Northridge, the epicenter of the region's devastating 1994 earthquake.

Major quakes have also rocked the Northeast San Fernando Valley and caused great devastation to the areas of Sylmar and the city of San Fernando in the 1970's.

"Together, scientists, policymakers, emergency planners and community members share the goal of increasing our ability to survive and quickly recover from a major earthquake," USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said.

"The community needs to be involved in preparedness, and knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of a major quake is an important step."

As part of a broader outreach effort to increase community engagement in emergency preparedness, they will available at LAFD Fire Stations, Recreation Centers, librararies, and be will handed out at Neighborhood Council meetings, Neighborhood Watch meetings, and will be mailed out.

Information about the statewide drill and preparedness can be found at www.shakeout.org/california. For more information, contact:

California Earthquake Authority, 801 K St., Sacramento, CA 95814.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 04:53