LA's virtual Swiss neighborhood!

How You Can Really Help After a Disaster: Get Yourself Prepared

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The Power of Social Media: thanks to New-York-Swiss Tina Roth-Eisenberg (aka @swissmiss & HowdyHeidi) and her recent Creative Morning/LA event, I had the pleasure to meet LA’s Design-Scene STAR and fellow “Do GOODer” Alissa Walker. She is the epitome of an “LA-ist-a” and is admired by thousands who enjoy reading her most fun blog www.gelatobaby.com, attend her events or listen to her beautiful voice on the Radio. She’s one BUSY LADY. Oh, and by the way… she WALKS IN LA!

Just last week I ran into Alissa at a FUNdraiser she organized with the GOOD.is/LA team, benefiting CicLAvia – Los Angeles’ latest amazing effort to improve Life in the City by creating a growing infrastructure benefiting cyclists. You GO GIRL!

As a recent transplant herself, she is aware that her newly adopted California Lifestyle comes with a Caveat… One has to live with Earthquakes. The lessons we learn from Japan are very simple: Alissa just wrote a very smart story on GOOD.IS about getting ready for the inevitable.

Thank You Alissa, for allowing us to re-post your story as a “Public Service Announcement” for the Angeleno-Swiss Community! For your valuable contribution I’d like to recognize you with a virtual (Honorary)Angeleno-Swiss Award! Yay!

Michael Gaedeke, SrVP Development (volunteer)

How You Can Really Help After a Disaster: Get Yourself Prepared

Those of us living on the West Coast have been on high alert for a week now after Japan’s massive earthquake. Last Friday many of us were awakened with calls warning us about the incoming tsunami. Now, with reports that radioactive particles from a damaged reactor may reach southern California this weekend, a new wave of worries has hit, and along with it, a slew of misinformation. While the radiation doesn’t seem to be a serious concern, we were still dismayed to learn that only 60 percent of Californians have disaster kits at home, and only half have an emergency plan for their family.

Making sure your family is ready is one of the best things you can do to for your city. If every citizen has the basic resources to sustain themselves for a few days after a disaster, relief workers won’t get overwhelmed by providing food and water to the unhurt but unprepared. Plus with basic medical supplies in each home, agencies like the Red Cross can focus on helping the people who really need their services. So why not take this weekend to do something good for your city, and get prepared? We found some great resources for making this process as simple, easy, and fun (yes, fun!) as possible.

First, start thinking about earthquakes as a timeline, using the Seven Steps for Earthquake Safety that can give you a simple, seven-step path from preparedness to recovery. Two steps to note: Making a disaster plan including two places to meet (the second being a backup in case the first isn’t safe), and assembling an emergency kit with enough food, water, and medical supplies. And remember you’ll need three of these: For home, work, and car.

Next, do some redecorating before an earthquake does it for you. This game called Beat the Quake walks you through the furnishings in your house item by item and gives you tips on how to best secure them. (I’ll be making a trip to Home Depot to stock up on furniture straps, velcro, and putty.)

Now, think about where you’ll be when an earthquake strikes. Notice in the videos of earthquakes how most people run outside? Not a good idea. Neither is standing in doorways. Drop, Cover, and Hold On uses easy-to-read graphics to show you exactly what to do, no matter where you are. If an earthquake strikes when you’re in bed, do you know what to do? Now you do.

Finally, hold a dress rehearsal. The Great California Shake Out is a state-wide drill that happens annually each October. There’s information there on how to participate. But there’s no reason why you can’t conduct your own this weekend.

Written by M:)

March 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm

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