Elvia Elizabeth Figueroa has lived through many earthquakes in her native Honduras. But as she recently visited Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance with her 8-year-old granddaughter Angie, she realized that she was not prepared for the next big one.
Figueroa, who lives in Hawthorne, took advantage of the Harbor-UCLA Disaster Preparedness Fair to learn the simple steps she can take to plan for the worst.
“Angie was reminding me that we have flashlights but we don’t have batteries,” she said. “I am going to go home and get prepared.”
The Harbor-UCLA Disaster Preparedness Fair, part of a month-long series of events to help residents prepare for emergencies, was hosted by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
“Being prepared is important business,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “It’s hard to know how to be safe unless we take preventive measures.”
More than a dozen county departments and emergency response experts were on hand to give residents emergency training, CPR training and even to answer questions about filing insurance claims in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Other participants included Office of Emergency Management Director Jeff Reeb, Harbor-UCLA Administrator Delvecchio Finley, Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby and Los Angeles County Community and Senior Services Director Cynthia Banks.
Banks noted that the county’s senior centers were important hubs for residents to learn what to do in an emergency—especially learning how to text.
“When an emergency strikes, it is likely going to be hard to get through phone lines,” said Banks, noting that several senior centers around the Second District will be giving classes on texting. “Seniors need to know how to text so that they can get in touch with their family.”
Jeff Reeb, from the office of emergency management, said residents need to remember only four basic precautions:
1. Store enough water for three weeks
2. Store extra batteries for flashlights
3. Share contact lists with friends and families
4. Keep a phone charger at work, home and car.
As part of Los Angeles County’s Disaster Preparedness month, the county is hosting a variety of events to help residents get ready and educated about what to do.
For more information on events please click here.