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Better Safe than Sorry – Prepare for Emergencies Now

Be ready for emergencies.Life in the Bay Area is good. We’ve got easy access to open spaces and parkland, gorgeous vistas at every turn, great dining options, and culture galore. The tradeoff? Knock on wood: The occasional earthquake, fire, flood, and other natural and man-made disasters that can devastate highly populated areas. While it is difficult to predict such events, it’s not difficult to properly prepare for them. Every Lamorinda resident should have a disaster plan, home emergency supplies, and a flash drive containing vital information. Lafayette’s Emergency Preparedness Commission, whose motto is “Be Aware, Plan, Prepare,” lists ten things everyone can and should do to protect themselves, their families, and their homes:

  1. Be aware that the unthinkable can and has happened. Take the time to imagine ‘what would I do if?’
  2. Take first aid and CPR training.
  3. Know how and when to shut off utilities.
  4. Know what to do during and after an earthquake.
  5. Have two exit routes out of your home, workplace, and neighborhood.
  6. Know your neighbors; let them know when you are away on vacation.
  7. Make a disaster supply kit with supplies to last three days, an emergency car kit, workplace kit and a ‘go bag’ – items you will need if you have to evacuate in a hurry.
  8. Have a structural engineer determine if your home needs seismic improvements.
  9. Do a home contents inventory, and back up your computer.
  10. Prepare a flash drive or computer disk with copies of important documents; keep it in a safe place.

For further information on disaster preparedness, literature can be found at the Lafayette Library behind the main desk in the copy room. The Red Cross also has lots of information at www.redcross.com.

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