While the earthquake drill may bring for some residents a brief moment of diversion in an otherwise ordinary day, the ShakeOut’s intended message should not be ignored: earthquake preparedness can mean the difference between life or death.
The September blackout that left a large swath of the Southwest border region without power also should have served to remind residents of the importance of emergency preparedness. While the area had its power restored in a relatively short time compared to other affected areas, it could have been a lot worse. And judging from the long lines of vehicles that formed at nearby gas stations and the frantic rush for ice that occurred after the outage, it’s apparent some of us aren’t as fully prepared as we would like to think.
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Hence the need for the ShakeOut, which aims to have California residents develop and practice an emergency safety plan. Knowing what to do before, during and after a major earthquake can save lives, not just your own.
So now is the time to develop and practice a safety plan for the household and workplace. As the local Red Cross likes to point out, people should spend the same amount of time planning for a major emergency as they do planning for a major party.