Are You Prepared?

LIVING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA— home of earthquakes, fires and mudslides —means
you always have to be prepared. That is especially true in Riverside County, where
mountain residents live along the edge of the wilderness, and some desert dwellers enjoy
the peace and quiet of remote locations far from the nearest emergency services.

One of the best ways to stay prepared is to assemble a home disaster kit that will ensure
your family has what it needs to survive in the event of a major disaster. One component of
such a kit should be a “grab and go bag,” which puts essentials at your fingertips if you
have to flee your home. A home disaster kit ensures that you will be self-sufficient for 7–10
days in the event you are without running water, refrigeration and telephone service. Once
you assemble the kit, keep it in a watertight container in an accessible location.

The kit should include:

water—one gallon per person per day
food—ready to eat or requiring little water
hand-cranked can opener and other cooking supplies
plates, utensils and other items needed for eating
First Aid kit
copies of important documents and phone numbers
warm clothes and rain gear for each person
work gloves
disposable camera
unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper to purify water
personal hygiene items, such as toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
plastic sheeting, duct tape and a utility knife for covering broken windows
tools, such as a crowbar, hammer and nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee
blanket or sleeping bag
large, heavy-duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste
any special-needs items for children, seniors and people with disabilities
water and other supplies for pets
The grab-and-go bag is an important component of the home disaster kit. Preparing one
bag for each family member, using a backpack or other easily-carried container, will ease
your mind if evacuation is looming.

The bag should include:

battery-operated radio
dust mask
pocket knife
emergency cash in small bills and quarters for phone calls
sturdy shoes, extra clothes and a warm hat
local map
water and food
permanent marker, paper and tape
photos of family members and pets for identification purposes
list of emergency phone numbers
list of any food or drug allergies
copies of health insurance and identification cards
extra pair of prescription eyeglasses, hearing aids or other such items
prescription medications and first aid supplies
toothbrush and toothpaste
extra house and car keys
any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities
any items your pets would need

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Planning For The Worst, Hoping For The Best
Contributing Writer
Josh Sommer

Emergencies by definition seldom make appointments or work their way into our daily planners. A true disaster can happen
anywhere, at any time in the world. This can include fires (or wildfires), floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, power
outages, or terrorist threats, to name just a few.

Accumulatively, these types of emergencies have taken billions of lives. But still, by and large, over 75% of Americans live as if
an emergency will not happen to them. Recent studies show that between 50-75% of U.S. citizens have no disaster plan or
disaster supplies at the ready. This may seem strange, since emergency supplies are relatively inexpensive and readily

What should you do first to prepare for an emergency?

If a disaster occurs in your community, local agencies and disaster-relief groups will likely be on hand to help. However,
emergency personnel and local agencies will be severely taxed and stretched thin and may not be available immediately. We
know this from past experiences with Katrina, Haiti, and the most recent tsunamis in Japan and Indonesia. Local help may take
several critical hours or days to reach you.

This is where your personal (or family, office or church) preparedness can decide your chances of survival in such situations.
Your personal emergency preparedness will be the key to you and your family’s (or office or congregation’s) safety and survival.

The first step in preparing yourself for an emergency is to have essential survival plans and supplies like a group
communication plan and emergency kits to provide the necessary resources to help you and your family get through at least 72-
hours on your own.

Basic survival supplies and preparation

1. Establish a group communication plan: Does your family or group know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone?
Where would you gather in an emergency? Take a little time to make a plan that is easy enough that the youngest and oldest in
your group can remember and follow.

2. Emergency supplies for 72-hours: Both FEMA and the Red Cross have a recommended list of emergency supplies to have on
hand. You can gather these supplies by visiting several hardware and sport/recreation stores, but the costs are pretty
expensive. Instead
, Quakesafekits has put together all of the essentials you would need, at less cost than visiting several
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You can't predict ... But you can prepare




Riverside County Emergency Management Department



Identifying Potential Hazards Hazards in your home

Hazards in an office or building

Hazards Outside

Hazards in your car


Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Have a Disaster Supply Kit


Inventory Home Possessions

Important Documents



Insurance Checklist

Financial Checklist


The damage caused by natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding, or from manmade/technological
events such as explosions or hazardous materials accidents can affect all aspects of a community, including government services,
private enterprise, and civic activities. These events:

 Severely restrict or overwhelm response resources, communications, transportation, and utilities.

 Leave many individuals and neighborhoods cut off from outside support.

Damaged roads and disrupted communication systems may restrict the access of emergency response agencies into critically affected
areas. Thus, for the initial period immediately following a disaster, often

Presented by: Desert Hot Springs Emergency Preparedness CERT Committee – 5.26.2016 Page 2

up to 3 days or longer, individuals, households, and neighborhoods may need to rely on their own resources for:

 Food

 Water

 First aid

 Shelter

Individual preparedness, planning, survival skills, and mutual aid within neighborhoods and worksites during this initial period are
essential measures in coping with the aftermath of a disaster. What you do today will have a critical impact on the quality of your
survival and your ability to help others safely and effectively. You will be an important asset to your family, neighbors, and other
members of your community.


Riverside County Emergency Management Department:

On May 12, 2015 the Riverside Board of Supervisors approved the creation of the Riverside County Emergency Management
Department. This action consolidated the Riverside County Fire Office of

Emergency Services, Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, and the Riverside County Emergency Medical Services
Agency under one Department. Combining these programs centralizes the emergency management functions, reduces duplication of
effort and provides for a unified vision for mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.

The Emergency Management Department issued a 90 Day Report to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on September 21,
2015, outlining the new department with their goal for the County.

For a complete understanding of how the new Emergency Management Department can help you review their Disaster Preparedness

When you go to this website review each of the links and sub-links that are displayed. Some items may not be applicable to you or your
family. For example under the Emergency Preparedness link, you will find the following sub-links:

● Animals and Pets ● Disaster Preparedness ● Mental Health ● Pharmacy Emergency ● Response Team (PERT) ● Schools ● Special
Needs ● Terrorism


We know that southern California is subject to frequent --- and sometimes very destructive --- earthquakes. Scientist cannot yet make
precise predictions of the date, time and place of an earthquake, so earthquake forecasts are in the form of probabilities as to
actualities. History shows us that a major earthquake will happen every 150 years. The last major earthquake along the San Andreas
Fault happened in 1857, rupturing the fault from Central California to San Bernardino. Further south along the San Andreas Fault, from
San Bernardino through the Coachella Valley to the Salton Sea, over 300 years have passed since the last major earthquake (around

Earthquake Magnitude Classes are:

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 Minor: up-to 3.9

 Light: 4.0 to 4.9

 Moderate: 5.0 to 5.9

 Strong:6.0 to 6.9

 Major: 7.0 to 7.9

 Great: 8.0 or greater

Strong earthquakes: occur approximately 100 times a year.

Major Earthquakes: occur approximately 20 times a year.

Great Earthquakes: occur approximately one every 5 to 10 years.

We are surrounded by three major earthquake faults: San Andreas, San Jacinto, and Elsinore.

The San Andreas Fault runs through the San Bernardino Mountains through the Coachella Valley to the Salton Sea. The fault is 600
miles long, stretching from Yreka in Northern California to the Mexican border. The fault has the capability of producing up to an 8.3
magnitude earthquake.

The San Jacinto Fault extends more than 125 miles, from northwest of El Centro to northwest of San Bernardino. This fault “passes
through” the intersection of Interstate Highways 10 and 215, in Loma Linda, the Box Springs Mountains across Highway 60 to the
northern end of the San Jacinto Valley.

This fault has the capability of producing up to a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

The Elsinore Fault, which is much smaller than the San Jacinto Fault is located southeast of Lake Matthews, running through Corona
and south into Lake Elsinore.

It is connected to the Whittier fault near the Santa Ana River in the Corona/Riverside area. This fault has the capability of producing up
to a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.

These three faults bring up the question. Are you and your family members mentally, physically and financially prepared for a major
earthquake? I will touch on each of these areas of preparation in this presentation.


Earthquake Nerves have been known to Impact Mental Health. Emotional aftershocks are common after experiencing emergencies or
natural disasters. But did you know these aftershocks are capable of affecting your mental health if you ignore them?

One of the most important things you can do after a disaster is to talk about your experience. Emotional signs such as the inability to fall
asleep or the lack of hunger are “signs that you’re still very upset [and] are red flags that you need to do something, which is either
talking to another adult or calling your doctor. Preparing will help alleviate some of the potential emotional turmoil and distress that
comes from emergencies.

Presented by: Desert Hot Springs Emergency Preparedness CERT Committee – 5.26.2016 Page 4

Identifying Potential Hazards

Being as you will not know where you will be when an earthquake happens you must be prepared to protect yourself regardless of your
surroundings. It is important to learn the following hazards. Hazards in your home:

 Cabinet doors

 Falling dishes and glassware

 Gas appliance should have flexible connectors

 Secure major appliances and water heaters to the wall.

 Objects on open shelves or tables

 Objects hanging on the wall

 Electronics such as: televisions, stereos, computers, microwaves, & other electronic


 Furniture such as: bookcases, file cabinets, grandfather clocks

Hazards in an office or building

 Many of the same items as in your home

 Falling overhead lights

 Drop ceiling panels

 Stairways

 Elevators

 Escalators

 Broken Window Panes

 Merchandize from shelves

 Shelving

Hazards Outside

 Falling Trees

 Building Collapse

 Breaking Glass

 Fuel and Gas Leaks

 Fallen Electrical Lines

 Sinkholes

 Building Facades and Architectural Designs

Hazards in your car

 Recognize that you are in an earthquake.

 Use your senses.

 Look around.

 Move to the side of the road.

 Keep an eye out for traffic.

 Be aware some drivers may panic.

 Avoid bridges, overpasses, large signs, building overhangs, power lines, trees, or other

hazards that might fall on your car.

 Turn off your engine and put your hand break on.

Presented by: Desert Hot Springs Emergency Preparedness CERT Committee – 5.26.2016 Page 5

 Turn on your radio and listen for updates, warnings and advice.

 Stay in your car until the shaking stops.

 If you see power lines lying on or near your car STAY IN YOUR CAR and call 911.


Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan

Will everyone in your household do the right thing during the violent shaking of a major earthquake? Before the next earthquake, get
together with your family or housemates and plan what each person will do before, during and after an earthquake.

Once the earthquake is over, you will have to live with the risk of fire, potential lack of utilities and basic services, and the certainty of
aftershocks. By planning now, you will be ready.  Find safe spots in every room of your house or office.

 Learn how to protect yourself no matter where you are.

 Keep shoes and a working flashlight next to your bed.

 Get a fire extinguisher for your home or office.

 Be sure everyone has a whistle or has a special knock if trapped.

 Identify any special needs for the members of your household such as: wheelchair, walking

aids, special diets, medication.  Know how to perform CPR.

 Know the location of your utility shut-off valves and have a tool nearby. Only turn off gas if

you smell or hear gas leaking.

 Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

 Select a safe place outside of your home to meet with family members.

 Designate an out-of-area contact person who can be called by everyone in the household

after a disaster if your family members are separated.

 Use a computer thumb-drive to store valuable documents.

Available disaster preparedness plan information

Have a Disaster Supply Kit

Utilities, water, transportation, and other vital systems can be disrupted for several days or much longer in some places after a major
disaster. Emergency response agencies and hospitals could be overwhelmed and unable to provide you and your pets with immediate
assistance. Providing first aid and having supplies will save lives, will make life more comfortable, and will help you cope after a

Everyone should have a personal disaster supply kit in their home and in their car with sufficient supplies to last 7 days minimum and
up to 30 days maximum. A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your family members may need in the event of an
emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take
essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.

Presented by: Desert Hot Springs Emergency Preparedness CERT Committee – 5.26.2016 Page 6

Available Family Disaster Supplies information http://emergency.cdc.

Some Disaster Kit Market sources are:

 More Prepared -

 Life Secure -

 Emergency -

These basic supplies should include:

 Non-perishable food and water for 3 to 7 days.

 Paper Plates, cups, plastic utensils.

 Flashlights, battery operated radio and or TV.

 Extra Batteries.

 Matches.

 Battery operated lamps, lanterns and fuel (keep out of reach of children)

 Toilet paper, towelettes

 Personal hygiene items

 Plastic garbage bags, zip-locking bags.

 Waterless anti-bacterial hand soap.

 Disinfectant/bleach.

 Freshly stocked first-aid kit.

 Antiseptic

 Non-prescription drugs and medications you regularly use.

 Vitamins.

 Utility Shut-Off Tool.

 Items for safety and comfort.

 Clothing and bedding.

 Legal documents.  Cash.

Don’t forget you need these same things for your pets, including:  Food dishes.

 Leash.

 A confinement container.

Remember that not all households have the same needs so adjust your Disaster Supply Kit to meet yours and your family’s needs.

Utility Shut-Off Tool information Emergency Disaster Systems

On Duty 4 in 1 Emergency Tool

Price $12.95

Presented by: Desert Hot Springs Emergency Preparedness CERT Committee – 5.26.2016 Page 7

Quake Kare

Multifunction Utility Tool

Price $19.95 May be on sale for $7.95. Quantity Discounts available

Utility Valve Shut-Off Tools can be purchased at most hardware and big Box Stores

Be sure they are made of Heat Treated Alloy Won’t Spark Won’t Rust

Made in the U.S.A.

The weight is around 1 lbs.

Be sure to have the tool in an easy accessible place. You might consider taping it to the Gas Meter with duck tape


Being ready for a disaster is more than storing water and supplies. You also need to be financially ready. Starting early and having
adequate insurance, a plan to pay your bills and access to your important records and accounts will help you get back on your feet
faster and avoid problems with your credit when you need it most.

Make a record of your personal property for insurance purposes. Take photos or a video of the interior and exterior of your home.
Include personal belongings in your inventory.

Inventory Home Possessions

Store your important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, property records and other important papers in a safe place, such
as a safety deposit box away from your home. Make copies of

important documents for your

Important Documents

disaster supplies kit. Having such information handy should make the

registration process for FEMA benefits smoother, should you be involved in a presidentially declared disaster.

Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in any crisis. Keep a small amount of cash at home in a
safe place. It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to
purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.



Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them. The National Association of Insurance
Commissioners (NAIC) encourages you to take some time to familiarize yourself with your policies and to address any questions with
your insurance agent or company.

Presented by: Desert Hot Springs Emergency Preparedness CERT Committee – 5.26.2016 Page 8

It is important to review your inventory each year. Remember to note the make, model, serial number, purchase price and date of
purchase of any new items and keep copies of receipts for major purchases with your inventory. If you've purchased or have been
given jewelry and/or art, make sure to have it appraised. And, don't forget to take photos and/or video of the new items. Once you have
a complete home inventory, talk with your insurance agent or company to make sure you're not under- or over-insured. Also, make sure
you know whether your policy includes coverage for replacement cost or actual cash value in case of a loss.

Review existing policies for the amount and extent of coverage to ensure that what you have in place is what is required for you and
your family for all possible hazards. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood
insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners insurance does not cover earthquakes, so you need to talk with
your insurance agent and have him him/her explain earthquake insurance coverage and deductibles. Remember earthquake insurance
does not cover everything and usually has a 10% to 15% deductible against the property value.

Keep a list of contact details for your insurance agent and/or company with your policies. Include office phone numbers, mailing
addresses, Web site addresses and all of your policy numbers for quick reference.

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety:

California Department of Insurance information on Earthquake Insurance:

California Earthquake Authority

Insurance Checklist:

1. Have you updated your home inventory to include photos, appraisals and receipts of any

new purchases and stored copies of it in safe, remote locations?

2. Have you stored copies of your insurance policy with contact details for your insurance

agent and company with your inventory?

3. Do you know whether your policy includes replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV)

for losses?

4. Have you decided if you need a separate flood insurance policy?

5. Have you talked with your agent to make sure you don't have too much or too little homeowners or renter's insurance?

Financial Checklist:

Take these 8 steps now to avoid financial disaster later.

Don’t be caught off guard. Here’s a financial to-do-project, a checklist of things to do before a natural disaster hits your family.

Presented by: Desert Hot Springs Emergency Preparedness CERT Committee – 5.26.2016 Page 9

 Keep some cash handy: Have some emergency cash or traveler’s checks set aside in a safe, secure place. How much you need
depends on your family’s circumstances, but a few hundred dollars may be enough. It should be easily accessible. Remember that
banks and ATM’s may be inaccessible if there are power outages, curfews or mandatory evacuations.

 List account numbers, institution phone numbers: Keep a log of account numbers and toll-free telephone numbers for all of your
banks, credit unions and lending institutions for credit cards and mortgage and car loans. You could make photocopies of the front and
back of the cards or type up a list. This information should be kept in a secure but accessible place.

 Flood-proof important papers: Place photocopies of important documents in a plastic

bag and double wrap them.

 Use cell phone and e-mail as backup record-keepers: Save the toll-free telephone numbers to your credit card issuers in your cell
phone contact list or e-mail list to yourself in an encrypted, password-protected file. If cards are lost or stolen, you will be able to quickly
alert credit card companies.

 Create a fire-safe record box: Place important financial documents in a fire safe box but keep in mind that if mandatory evacuations
are ordered and your neighborhood is inaccessible for any reason you may not be able to get to the box. Therefore I recommend you
copy your financial and important documents and store them on a computer thumb-drive.

 Spread the wealth: Don’t give all the credit cards and checkbooks to one family member.

If you are separated for any reason, the other person may be stranded.

 Set aside emergency-only credit card: Designate one credit card for emergency use only.

It should have enough available credit to accommodate purchases of food and supplies for a week or more. Making purchases on a
credit card will help you document disaster related expenses, which may be reimbursed by your insurance company or other assistance

 Inform credit issuers in advance, if possible: Call the credit card issuers and alert them that you may be inaccessible and give them
alternative numbers where you can be reached. Ask about your available credit level and if you can increase it during the crisis, have
late fees and finance charges waived temporarily or work out alternative payment plans.

There are a number of other brochures available on line.