The Culver City Fire Department wants you to know that disasters and emergencies can happen at any time and your family may not be together. Power may be lost and cell phones may not work.
Do you and your kids have contact phone numbers memorized or written and available in your kid's backpacks or your wallet? Do you have an alternate plan to connect with family and friends? Do you know how to contact your children's school in the event of an emergency?
You have every opportunity now, before a disaster or emergency, to plan and prepare to ensure that your family and loved ones are ready and informed.
This year, the fire department wants to challenge you to "Resolve to Be Ready in 2014" with a special focus on family connections and readiness. Take the time today, this month, to review, update or create your family disaster plan.
Make sure that your disaster supplies are up-to-date and in good working condition. If you don't have supplies, no problem, now is your chance to put together a kit or two. It is recommended that you have disaster supplies for a minimum of three days. However, 7 to 14 days would be best. Consider making kits for your vehicles and work.
Most of us spend the majority of our time away from home and/or on the road. Test your communications plan by calling your out-of-state contact and making sure the phone numbers you have are still valid. Visit www.culvercity.org/emergencyprep to download checklists and templates.
As you prepare your plans and kits, make sure that you include all family members in the planning process; especially children. This is your opportunity to discuss earthquakes, why they happen, where they happen, how to be safe, what to do before, during and after an earthquake. There are a lot of great books, publications and literature that can help you teach your children in a non-threatening manner about emergencies and disasters.
www.ready.gov is one of many great sites that offer checklists and children-oriented materials.
Also, consider your neighbors and neighborhood. Do they have a disaster plan? Is there a neighborhood disaster plan? Is anyone on your block CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trained?
We need to work together to create a community of resilience! It is not a matter of "if" an earthquake occurs, it's "when" it occurs, will you be ready?
Be sure to read next week's article from the Culver City Fire Department on "Resolve to be Ready 2014". For the next few weeks, they will be highlighting three Culver City neighborhoods that have banned together to create their own "communities of resilience". They are the neighborhoods of Lindberg Park, Culver Crest and Raintree.
For more information or questions, feel free to contact Christine Parra at (310) 253-5909 or firstname.lastname@example.org