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Earthquake preparedness tips offered

March 25, 2016

April is Earthquake Preparedness Month, and the City of Cerritos offers residents the following earthquake-preparedness tips from the California Emergency Management Agency.

After a major emergency, there is a good chance that traditional emergency response teams will be too busy to take care of you and your family. You need to prepare your home and neighborhood.

Prepare now

  • Stock up on at least three days' supply of food, water, clothes, medical supplies and necessary equipment for everyone in the family.
  • Make sure everyone knows where to find the supplies.
  • Decide where and when to reunite with family when disaster strikes.
  • Choose a person outside the immediate area to contact if family members are separated. Long distance phone service will likely be restored sooner than local service. Do not use the phone immediately after a major emergency.
  • Know school and daycare policies. Make plans to have your children picked up if you are unable to get to them.
  • For a non-English-speaking family member, prepare an emergency card (written in English) with the person's identification, address and special needs (medication and allergies). The person should keep the card with him or her at all times.
  • Conduct earthquake drills – duck, cover and hold – every six months with the family.
  • Practice stop, drop and roll drills for fire, as well as emergency exit drills in the house regularly.
  • Know the safest place in each room because it will be difficult to move from one room to another during an earthquake or explosion.
  • Locate the shutoff valves for water, gas and electricity. Learn how to shut off the valves before an emergency. Do not shut off utility valves unless directed to do so by the utility company.
  • Make copies of vital records and keep them in a safe deposit box in another city or state. Store the originals in a safe place.
  • Establish all the possible ways to exit the house. Keep those areas clear.
  • Know the locations of the nearest fire and Sheriff's stations.
  • Take photos and/or videos of your valuables. Make copies and keep them with a friend or relative in another city or state.
  • Include the babysitter and other household help in your plans.
  • Keep an extra pair of eyeglasses and house and car keys on hand.
  • Keep extra cash and change on hand. If electricity is out, ATM machines do not work.

During an Earthquake

  • Stay away from heavy furniture, appliances, large glass panes, shelves holding objects and large decorative masonry, brick or plaster such as fireplaces.
  • Keep hallways clear. It is usually one of the safest places to be during an earthquake or explosion.
  • Stay away from kitchens and garages, which tend to be the most dangerous places because of the many items kept there.

For more information, visit safercerritos.com and click on Emergency Preparedness under the Featured Links section.

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