April is Earthquake Preparedness Month - Resources and Tips for West LA

April is National Earthquake Preparedness Month (just in case March didn't scare you into action) and so I am going to do my best to list some local and city resources to help get you and your family as ready as you can be. And hopefully after writing this, I will finish working on our family's disaster plan as well.


I'd be curious to hear where fellow Rancho Park residents plan to use as an emergency meeting place. I'm thinking Palms or Rancho Park, the mall or Overland Elementary. Does anyone have a family plan in place? If so, please share.


The Los Angeles Emergency Management Department maintains a comprehensive site at Ready LA with good links and lists for what to do in all sorts of disasters. Here is a link to their earthquake page which has info on how to prepare (keep shoes and a flashlight by your bed), what to do in case of an earthquake (stop,drop and hold on) and what to doif you are trapped (tap but shout only as a last resort). Click on the links above for their complete lists.


Ready LA also has separate pages on  how to put together emergency supply kits and a household disaster plan. There are also preparedness videos and a searchable-by-zipcode list of emergency services. Here is the link for 90064, which for some reason does not have Fire Station 92 on it. Here is their non-emergency business line (310) 840-2192 BUT always call 911 in an emergency.


Disaster Kits

These can be ordered online (the Red Cross has an online store) , put togther yourself (local shop A-16 has most of what you need) or purchased from the West Los Angeles Police Station at 1663 Butler Ave, one block south of Santa Monica Blvd just west of the 405 Fwy.


That is where I recently purchased three kits for my home and cars. Call first to make sure they are in stock. If you have any questions please conatct Sgt. David Podesta at (310) 444-0743 or by email at 32305@lapd.lacity.org .

Here's what is inside:




1 LED FLASHLIGHT ( No Batteries needed)











Each Kit sells for $75. WestLAPD makes $8 off each kit and the profits go to their youth programs. They take cash or check only but do have an ATM in the building. 


Here is a link to their various phone numbers. Print this page.


The Red Cross also has great information. Their tips are below and more can be found on their site. Print all this (along with phone numbers of all key family and friends) because your computer won't work and you'll be looking for all the useful info posted here!


At www.redcross.org, the Red Cross offers important steps that people can take before an earthquake occurs:

  • Know the fire evacuation and earthquake plans for any building you occupy regularly.
  • Pick safe places in each room of your home, place of employment or school, under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall.
  • Practice drop, cover and hold on. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed.
  • Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
  • Bolt and brace water heaters, gas appliances, bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.

If you are inside when the shaking starts:

  • Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible.
  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. Use stairs to exit the building rather than an elevator.  
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.

If you are outside when the shaking starts:

  • Find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlights and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.

Steps you can take after an earthquake include:

  • Prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tsunami. Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on.
  • Put on long pants, a long-­sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Look quickly for damage in and around your home and get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-­operated or hand-­crank radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Clean up spilled medications, bleach, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately.
  • Open closet and cabinet doors carefully as contents may have shifted.
  • If you were away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

Are you ready? Any tips or info I've forgetten? Please let me know.


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