updated: Dec 10, 2012, 2:00 PM
Source: Office of Emergency Management
Recent disasters such as Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, remind us
of the need to be prepared. According to emergency managers, after a major disaster, such as an
earthquake, residents should expect to be on their own for several days. Emergency agencies,
utility companies and other service providers will be immediately overwhelmed. Simple things
go a long way in helping us survive on our own after a major emergency.
The following are steps toward helping in your preparedness:
1. Have one gallon of water, per person, per day, for about five days.
Water is the most important aspect of preparedness. With water, people have been known
to survive for weeks. Without water, survival becomes much more difficult and serious
medical complications can result.
2. Have a hand-crank radio.
Several days after a major disaster, resources from the state and federal governments, as
well as though from national organizations such as the American Red Cross, will begin to
arrive. Emergency managers will work with local media to broadcast shelter information,
feeding stations, disaster assistance centers and other critical information.
3. Have food.
Non-perishable, easy to rotate food stocks are needed. Extra canned food and other food
with long shelf lives are easy to replace. Buying a little extra of something until you have
about five days worth becomes an easy habit to maintain.
4. Have a Plan.
After a major emergency, families often haven't discussed what their next steps are, where
they are going to meet or who they contact out of state so everybody knows they are OK.
Click here to build a kit.
According to Michael Harris, Chief of Emergency Management for Santa Barbara County,
"When - not if - the next emergency occurs, people need to understand that local emergency
resources are immediately overwhelmed. Residents must show their self-reliance for several
days." Harris went on to say, "We have seen time and time again, that help from outside the
devastated area is not instantaneous. If we here in Santa Barbara County are only one part of the
disaster, along with rest of Southern California, national resources are going to have a tough time
in meeting the need."
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