Like many Cities across the United States, the City of Manhattan Beach has experienced many calls from Citizens since the disastrous Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Some of the questions we are asked may be found on our FAQ page. Most callers inquire about what they can do to be ready if a disaster should strike here, specifically a major earthquake. The best answer is: Be prepared to help yourself, your family and your neighbors. There are several things you can do to start.
Are you prepared for the Big One? With 22 million people living and working in Southern California, the public must be thoroughly educated and prepared for the major quake of the future. Watch Mayor Wayne Powell at his inaugural Town Hall meeting on September 20, 2012, discussing the topic of earthquake preparedness and safety with guest speaker Dr. Margaret Vinci of CalTech, Office of Earthquake Programs and the Earthquake Country Alliance. Mayor's Town Hall Meeting on Emergency Preparedness.
A website called www.ready.gov is an excellent source of what supplies to gather, how to store them and “what to do” when a disaster strikes. The Red Cross and Salvation Army also have information and pamphlets to help in your preparation. Many excellent tips such as: having a 7 day readiness supply, selecting foods you like, avoiding overly salted food, (increases need for drinking water), family meeting places after an earthquake, out of state relatives that can assist in knowing where family members are and if they are OK, and taking care of your pets are just a few.
One of the best things anyone can do is take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course offered by the Manhattan Beach Fire Department. The training is 22 hours long and covers first aid, fire extinguishers, shutting off utilities and many more needed skills The City of Manhattan Beach has an organized Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as the “Headquarters” location, and has trained key City workers on their roles during emergencies. No City can stand alone during major disasters and Mutual Aid systems to obtain local, regional, state and federal assistance, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have already been identified and are in place. Relocation shelters coordinated by the Red Cross will also be activated during a major emergency if needed.
One key step that has proven to increase effectiveness of government during a crisis is to identify the potential impact of the disaster as soon as possible and implement the Mutual Aid system as early as possible. Manhattan Beach has conducted disaster training exercises over the last few years, involving terrorism, and earthquakes.
It is clearly a need for any community to have well trained citizens, such as the CERT volunteers, to assist in the early stages of a disaster while outside Fire, Police and other resources are called. For information on how to sign up for CERT training, complete the online CERT form.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Boy Scouts of America: Emergency Preparedness
- Earthquakes/info recent local
- Earthquake related hazards in our neighborhoods
- Earthquake preparedness tips
- Storm Preparedness
- Manhattan Beach CERT info
- Mayor's Town Hall Meeting on Emergency Preparedness