I am writing this, not as a “Letter to the Editor”, but as an article with the purpose of aiding other Californians.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I remember the talk of earthquakes for as long as my memory was formed. I remember seeing pictures of the devastation of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. I remember feeling the 1987 Whittier earthquake primarily because I lived only a few miles from the epicenter. I remember the Landers earthquake of 1992; the Northridge earthquake of 1994, etc.
As a teacher, I frequently was required to have “drop drills” for my students on a monthly basis. As a Principal I was the one that required my staff to have earthquake drills on a regular basis and reported back to the District Office the results of those drills.
Now I am an old lady; recently widowed; and find that all of the preparing I did as a younger person for “the big one” does not help me anymore. I can no sooner get under a heavy desk than I can fly. And, if I could get under it, I would need help in getting up from it. In fact, I don’t even have a heavy desk anymore. I do have two emergency kits, and thus the reason for this article.
Where does one put their “emergency kit” after it is assembled? If I put it in the closet, where it currently is, and the roof caves in – as is likely if it is truly “the big one” I may not be able to reach it. I have one in my car also. What if the garage roof caves in and I am not able to get to the trunk of the car? Or what if something falls on my car?
I made a call to the Emergency Preparation Department and asked the question. The first person that I spoke to – I have his name if anyone is interested – could not answer the simple question of, ” . . where should the kit go in case of an emergency?” I was transferred to another gentleman – who did not give me a satisfactory answer either. He said, ” . . . probably in the room that you are in the most.” “Hmmmm”, I said, “what if that room is not accessible?” He hemmed and hawed and answered it the same way – ” . . . in the room that you are in the most.”
Come on, people. That is as good as no answer, or as good as not having an emergency kit at all. This is what I am going to do: I will purchase a large trash container with a substantial lid. I will put the items that should go into the emergency kit – water, canned food, medicines, blankets, etc. Then I will use duct tape to seal the lid and will place it in my backyard, away from the house that might fall on it; away from the trees that might fall on it; away from glass that might fall on it. Then I will pray that the ground does not open up and swallow it. I would sure be curious to know where others are going to put their emergency kits in case of “the big one.”
Any other suggestions out there?
Judith Curry lives in Ocean Beach. She also is a retired Teacher; Principal; Assistant Professor; Deputy Director of Penobscot Job Corps; Director of Education and Training, Treasure Island Job Corps; Small Business Owner; Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, etc.