Preparing for An Emergency

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LA County Firefighters providing CPR training during America’s PrepArathon Community Day at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood on April 30. Credit: Rosemary Viviero, LACoFD

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is urging residents throughout the Second District to participate in at least one of several emergency preparedness events taking place this spring and summer to help them emerge safely from a disaster.

On May 28, the supervisor and the Empowerment Congress hosed “Living on the Line: A Faultful Discussion on the Newport-Inglewood Fault” at Exposition Park.

“It’s imperative that everyone takes precautions to keep themselves, their loved and their homes safe,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “The better prepared we are as a community for emergencies and disasters, the better we’ll be able to recover from it.”

The Newport–Inglewood Fault, near Culver City, Inglewood, Gardena, Compton, Signal Hill, Long Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, is said to be capable of a catastrophic magnitude 6.0-7.4 earthquake. US Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones, Ph.D., and Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) emergency program manager Mariela Balam led the discussion.

OEM emergency program manager and public information officer Kenneth Kondo said it’s important for everyone, but particularly seniors, persons with disabilities, and others with access and functional needs, to take part in emergency preparedness training.

“We encourage Los Angeles County residents, schools and businesses to do one actionable disaster preparedness step,” Mr. Kondo said. “This includes participating in a drop-cover-and-hold-on drill, filling out or creating a disaster preparedness plan for themselves, their families and their businesses; learning or being trained on how to be a community emergency response team volunteer; learning hands-on CPR training; and encouraging their friends, family members and work colleagues to prepare for future emergencies and disasters.”

“Volunteers can provide 99 percent of the initial aid in a disaster,” USC Fire Safety and Emergency Planning Director Bill Regenburger, Ph.D., said. “We train them to put out a fire with an actual fire extinguisher, provide first aid, and perform basic search and rescue.”

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The University of Southern California trained people living in and around its campus to join its Community Emergency Response Team. Credit: William Regensburger, PhD., USC

Organizer Gwen Wood said, “I hope everybody is thinking about emergency preparedness because we don’t know what’s coming our way.”

“A lot of people in our community think first responders will come to their aid quickly during a disaster, but that might not be possible,” she added. “We’re encouraging people to store enough food and supplies so they can take care of themselves for at least a week, if not longer.”

Additional emergency preparedness events and activities are planned later this year, at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the Florence-Firestone Multipurpose Center.

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The LA County Office of Emergency Management participated in an Emergency Preparedness and Community Resource Fair hosted by the Del Amo Mobile Home Estates Block Captains in Rancho Domingez on April 18. Credit: Ken Kondo, LA County Office of Emergency Management.