Earthquake Preparedness: Is your Fire Corps Team Ready?

Thursday, 31 July 2008

On Tuesday, July 29, an earthquake in Southern California sent a trembling reminder to Americans that natural disasters can happen when you least expect them. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported and the 5.4 magnitude quake only caused minor damages, such as broken windows and cracked plaster. However, this incident proves once again that residents and communities must take initiative to prepare for any unexpected situation.

While earthquakes are sometimes believed to be a West Coast phenomenon, there are actually 45 states and territories throughout the United States that are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes, including the New Madrid fault line in the central U.S. Since it is impossible to predict when an earthquake will occur, it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time.

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is quickly approaching in September, and Fire Corps teams can take this opportunity to implement earthquake preparedness activities into their NPM schedule. Earthquakes can result in a loss of natural resources, such as main water supplies; communication failures with the destruction of phone lines and cell phone towers; and other emergencies, such as fires caused by fallen electrical lines. Fire Corps teams can help mitigate these emergencies by helping neighbors create emergency supply kits with plenty of food and water, by locating and documenting residents with special needs so they can be quickly accessed in an emergency, and by educating community members about how to prepare their homes.

Consider using Ready.gov’s preparedness steps to Get a Kit, Make a Plan, and Be Informed to help with your Fire Corps program’s earthquake preparations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also offers various earthquake preparedness tips which provide guidance on what to do before, during, and after this natural disaster occurs:

Additional tools, resources, and materials that Fire Corps teams can utilize to help ready themselves and their community for emergency situations can be found on the Fire Corps NPM Resource Center at http://www.firecorps.org/. Fire Corps is a member of the National Preparedness Month Coalition, which is comprised of over 1,300 organizations that have partnered together to support and promote the initiative. Learn more about National Preparedness Month at http://www.ready.gov./

 

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