Emergency Preparedness Committee: Be Prepared

For those of you interested in how to learn how to respond to a natural disaster and aid those in need in Niguel Shores and Dana Point, there is a joint CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program with Dana Point and Aliso Viejo starting August 11 at the Aliso Viejo City Hall, and then rotating around three cities. If interested, please contact: Aaron Rosen, Emergency Services Coordinator, and City of Dana Point. Tel: 949 248-3579. This is not only an excellent opportunity to learn (at no cost) a variety of life saving measures (CPR, AED, FIRST AID, fire prevention, etc.) but to also serve our community and YOUR OWN FAMILY, friends and neighbors should a variety of emergency situations occur.
This will serve as the 1st edition of ways to plan for and survive a major earthquake. IT’s NOT IF one will happen in Southern California, BUT WHEN.
By taking action to be prepared you can lessen the impact of an earthquake on your family. Set aside some emergency supplies and teach what to do at home, before during and after a disaster. You could be without help for at least 72 hours (or longer): self-sufficiency during this time is KEY.
Movement of the ground is seldom the actual cause of death or injury. Most casualties result from the partial building collapse and falling bricks, ceiling plaster, and light fixtures.
Many of these conditions are easily preventable. Because you don’t know where you will be when an earthquake will occurs, prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit for your home, workplace, and car.
FOOD: It’s always a practical idea to keep a supply of non-perishable food on hand that can be rotated into your diet and replenished on a regular basis. Have a sufficient supply of canned or dehydrated food, powdered milk, and canned juices and fruits and non-salted nuts are good sources of nutrition.
Also, look into the latest freeze-dried selections you can find at COSCO and online. Keep the following points in mind: Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned goods with high liquid content.
Stock foods that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water, or special preparation. You may already have many of these on hand. Remember to include foods for infants and those with special dietary needs. AND, don’t forget your pets. You should also have kitchen accessories and cooking utensils; especially a manual can opener.
FLASHLIGHTS and spare batteries. Keep a flashlight beside your bed, at your place of work, and in your car. Do not use matches or candles after an earthquake until you are sure certain that no gas leaks exist. Use a wind-up powered generator to have unlimited emergency power.
WATER: Store at least 1 gallon of water per person per day and be prepared for at least a 72-period. A normally active person needs at least ½ gallon of water daily just for drinking. In determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:
Individual needs vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water. Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
A medical emergency might require more water. It is recommended that you buy commercially bottled water.
Keep bottled water in its original container and DO NOT open it until you need to use it. Also, pay attention to the expiration or “use by” date. Store water in plastic containers, and avoid using containers that may break, such as glass bottles.
If you choose to prepare your own containers of water, you should buy airtight, food-grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supply stores. Before filling the containers, clean them with dish washing soap and water, and rinse them completely so that there is no residual soap. Keep all water in a cool dark place. Water stored in your own containers should be replaced about every 6 months.
If you have questions about the quality of the water, purify it before drinking. You can heat water to a rolling boil for 1 minute or use commercial purification tablets to purify the water. You can also use household liquid chlorine bleach if it is pure, unscented, 5 to 6 percent sodium hydrochloride.
MORE TO COME IN THE NEXT EDITIONS: But,do your own research on the internet to find tips, resources on products you can buy, measures you should take to make your home and family safe, and BE PREPARED!
—Kent Wellbrock