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Op-Ed: Earthquake Preparedness by Senator Ellen Corbett

Earlier this month, the senator introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 77, which proclaims April as California Earthquake Preparedness Month.

California is earthquake country, and that means on any given day, a
major temblor could strike your community, endanger lives and cause
extensive destruction.

That's why it is essential for all Californians to be ready. Having
experienced earthquakes firsthand and dealt with the devastation left in
their aftermath, I have committed myself to improving the state's
preparedness and response to these natural disasters.

Earlier this month, I introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 77, which
proclaims April as California Earthquake Preparedness Month. I hope all
Californians will take a moment to brush up on earthquake preparedness
and what individuals can do to reduce the risk of death, injury and
property loss.

During the month of April, please take some time to think about what you
would do if an earthquake struck. Develop a plan and set aside supplies
that might be hard to get immediately after a major disaster.

Here are some other useful tips in preparing for an earthquake:

  • Practice the drop, cover and hold on earthquake safety action with children. By getting under the nearest table or desk or against an interior wall, cover your head and neck and hold on (even if it is just to your head and neck).
  • Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit that includes food, water, first-aid supplies, a battery-operated radio, prescription drugs and a flashlight.
  • Ensure your house is bolted to its foundation and have your chimneys, roof and walls checked for stability.
  • Secure your water heater and major appliances, as well as tall, heavy furniture, mirrors, bookcases, computers, computer equipment and picture frames.
  • Know the safe areas, such as under a sturdy table or desk or against interior walls in each room.

For more earthquake safety information, visit the California Earthquake
Authority's website - www.earthquakeauthority.com - or contact my office
at (510) 577-2310 or (408) 286-0329 for a California Earthquake
Preparedness Guide.

Your preparedness is one important element of earthquake safety. Another
is the strength of public buildings, such as schools.

On April 20, I held a legislative hearing in Castro Valley exploring the
state's role in overseeing school construction and whether it meets
seismic safety standards. You can watch testimony provided at the
hearing by State Architect Chet Widom, and other experts, on my website:
http://www.sen.ca.gov/corbett

Please help spread the word about California Earthquake Preparedness
Month. Together, we can improve the safety of all Californians.

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