OPINION: Prepared or not, don’t fault the fault

By Gustavo Buenrostro

With the natural disasters happening right now, it’s important for people to be prepared.

For the students of East Los Angeles College, the most likely disaster is an earthquake.

The threat of an earthquake is not new for Californians, especially with the threat of the “Big one” that scientists have predicted will happen along the San Andreas fault line.

The threat is so constant, Hollywood even made a movie out of it called “San Andres.”

No creative muscle was strained for that title.

Californians are constantly being told an earthquake will happen “soon” and when it doesn’t happen, people stop taking the threat of an earthquake seriously.

It’s like the boy who cried wolf.

Since the United States does not have a detection system, it’s important to be prepared.

There are a few things everyone can do before, during and after an earthquake.

Before an earthquake even happens, people can secure items that may fall over or break, like TVs, pictures or shelves, for example.

People can also move their beds away from windows.

Another thing to do is practice how to “drop, cover and hold on.” It may seem silly, but knowing how to do this could prevent any harm being done.

Something to do during an earthquake while inside a building is to drop to the knees and cover the neck and head from any possible falling debris.

No one should shelter in a doorway because it won’t protect anyone from falling objects.

Make sure not to be close to any windows and be cautious of sharp objects.

If anyone is outside during an earthquake, be sure to stay clear of buildings, trees or open wires.

Get to an open area and drop and cover.

After the earthquake, be ready to drop and cover again in case of an aftershock.

If someone is in a building, be sure to look for a clear pathway out.

People should not try to move debris or heavy objects because the objects could be holding something up and could possibly cause it to collapse.

If anyone gets trapped, do not try to move around them or help.  Use a cellphone to call for assistance.

There is  information available on the website Ready.gov that goes into more detail for what to do in case of an earthquake.

The website also provides information on what to do during other natural disasters like wildfires, tsunamis and more.

ELAC will hold workshops next month that offers more in-depth advice on what to do during a disaster.

There will be one on October 9 on earthquake/evacuation procedures in F9-101 at 11:30 p.m. until 1 p.m.

There will be a repeat workshop on  October 23, the same place and same time.

The world is already scary enough as it is and there are a lot of things that are out of people’s control.

The few things that can be controlled should be taken advantage of so people can be safe rather than sorry.

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