By Jason KUROSU
The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which claimed the lives of nearly 15,000 people and left many more homeless, begs the question of whether the rest of us would be prepared for a similar disaster.
“If a big disaster hits, like an earthquake, flood or fire, the emergency response system will be overtaxed and not able to respond,” said Lisa Dutton of Crescenta Valley CERT or Community Emergency Response Team.
The question CERT poses is: Will you be ready and able to help yourself and your family in such a scenario?
CERT, which has over 200 trained members in the community, will hold a community forum on May 7 at Rosemont Middle School from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to attend in order to learn or remind themselves of the basics of emergency preparedness. The meeting will also feature speakers from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the United States Geological Survey.
“We prepare for everyday things in general and sometimes forget the big stuff. Or maybe take it for granted,” said Dutton. “‘I always have a flashlight by the bed or in the kitchen drawer,’ but when was the last time the batteries were checked? Do you have extra food or water in the cupboard? Even if you get a cold or flu and don’t feel like leaving the house for a few days, would you have enough to get by?”
It must be reiterated that these tips are not applicable only in an earthquake.
“This could be an earthquake, a fire, a flooding, a storm, a release of hazardous materials. Basically, if for whatever reason you had to leave your house in half an hour or less, would you be prepared?”
For more questions, call Paul or Lisa Dutton at (818) 249-8378 or attend the meeting this Saturday.