Disaster in southern Mexico, opened eyes in California

ANTELOPE VALLEY, Calif. -- Californians are no stranger to earthquakes. But when it comes to getting prepared, experts fear that residents aren't doing enough.

“This was a great example and it’s not just the earthquake, it’s also the hurricanes, it’s also the fire we had over in La Tuna canyon a week ago. All of these should be an eye opener to people, that it’s not just one disaster, it’s all disasters. If you’re prepared for one thing, you’re going to be prepared for other things,” said Caltech Office of Earthquake Programs, Margaret Vinci.

MORE | Deadly quake, hurricane a one-two punch for Mexico; 63 die

But living in the Antelope Valley, the word earthquake doesn’t necessarily strike fear, and that’s what emergency officials are trying to change. It’s never too early to get prepared, but it can be too late.

“The big issue that’s happening right now is that people are reliant on outside sources coming to help them, so if they have supplies on hand ahead of time, they can take care of themselves or their families,” said owner of SOS Survival Products, Jeff Edelstein.

Edelstein recommends having these five things ready to go:

1. Food

2. First Aid

3. Lighting

4. Hygiene or Sanitation Products

5. Most importantly, water. Red Cross recommends one gallon for every person per day for a two week period.

“The Big One is going to hit, we just don’t know when. Stores will be empty. Supplies will be few. If you have them stored in your closet and your yard and garage, you’re just that further ahead than anyone else,” said Blue Can H2O distributor, Patty Kirby.

Beyond buying the necessary items, preparing yourself means having a plan.

Margaret Vinci from the Caltech Office of Earthquake Programs wants you to:

1. Find your safe place at home and at work.

2. Discuss with your family where your supplies are and how you will use them.

3. Designate an out of state contact to call or text when an earthquake happens.

4. Know how to use a fire extinguisher.

Caltech officials are also working on an early detection system that you can have right on your phone called ShakeAlert. It will give residents a few seconds warning before damaging waves hit your location. However, it is not public ready quite yet. They hope to have limited notifications by 2018.


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