Reader Poll: As seismologists and first responders have drilled into our heads for years, California is well past due for the “Big One.” They tell us to have a full seven days’ worth of water and food on hand to survive the earthquake’s aftermath. Our Survey Monkey wants to know if you and your family (or your work colleagues, for that matter) are prepared to survive a full week without any help?
By Conduit Staff
As public safety experts acknowledge, most Californians remain largely unprepared to survive a week on their own without power or water or other utilities when the next major earthquake strikes.
Those findings were largely reflected by our survey respondents who said they were either “working on it” or “not fully” when they responded to the question of whether they were fully prepared to survive “the big one” when it hits California. Just two respondents answered “yes” that they were ready.
According to the California Office of Emergency Services, you should be prepared to be isolated and on your own for at least seven days and nights—that means storing three gallons of water per household member per day for a week. Having food, medicine, supplies and duplicates of key financial documents for that length of time is also advisable.
State officials also said that just 20 percent of California homeowners have purchased earthquake insurance. That percentage is the same for Golden State homeowners who have not structurally reinforced their homes.
Many websites and organizations have published checklists online to help you prepare. Sample disaster plans can make it easier for you to customize such a plan for your family, business, non-governmental agencies, schools, utilities, hospitals, governmental agencies, tribes and others. Information for preparing your home, business, family, pets, seniors, children, those with access and functional needs is available on the Cal OES website.
Contact your local emergency management office or your local American Red Cross chapter for more information.
The one thing for which Californians do get earthquake preparedness credit is having first aid kits, flashlights and batteries in their house. Authorities say these items can be found in about 80 percent of households in the state. That said, just 40 percent of Californians have made comprehensive family disaster and evacuation plans.