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Bakersfield Quake Prompts City Officials to Issue Preparedness Reminder

Published on Monday, August 26, 2013 | 9:34 am
 

Pasadena’s Emergency Management Coordinator said that Sunday’s 4.2-magnitude earthquake in Bakersfield, Calif., should serve as a reminder that Pasadenans should be prepared at all times for the possibility of a serious earthquake.

“There is no excuse for complacency. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ we will have an earthquake. Schools are starting and it’s important to ask about their disaster plans and supplies they have on hand,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Lisa Derderian. “Knowing communications, roads, utilities and transportation will be affected, discuss alternatives and make a family plan.”

The epicenter of the recent earthquake was outside of Bakersfield,  according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was followed by a 3.6 magnitude aftershock, but no injuries or damages were reported.

Last week, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake also shook Acapulco, Mexico causing damages to some of its buildings and structures.

The Fire Department has given Pasadenans several reminders on earthquake preparedness through a statement posted in its website. During an earthquake, the Department said it is important to find “safe places” in each room of one’s house, school or work place wherein one can stay safe.

“A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. The shorter the distance to move to safety, the less likely you will be injured,” the statement said. “Injury statistics show that people moving as little as 10 feet during an earthquake’s shaking are most likely to be injured.”

Once in a safe place, the Department said the person must wait until the shaking stops, and then check if he or she is hurt.

“You will be better able to help others if you take care of yourself first, then check the people around you. Move carefully and watch out for things that have fallen or broken, creating hazards. Be ready for additional earthquakes called ‘aftershocks,'” the statement said.

If the affected person is outside a building, the Fire Department said it is better to stay outside, but move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines.

The Department reminded that several things must still be done even after the quake stops: Be on the lookout for fires, use the stairs and not the elevator when one must leave a building, expect after shocks, and watch out for fallen power lines.

Pasadena residents must also be prepared even before the quake starts by having first aid training and earthquake plans and by securing items that might fall including televisions, books and computers, the Department said.

There was a total of 104 earthquakes recorded in Pasadena in the past year, according to Earthquaketrack.com. For more information on the Fire Department’s earthquake safety reminders, visit http://www.cityofpasadena.net/Fire/Earthquake_Preparedness/.

For information on how to build a disaster kit, make a family plan and to get trained, contact (626) 744-7276.

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