Preparing for Disaster


Claritza Vaca

When you hear disaster what do you picture? Do you see massive fires, floods, buildings crumbling down due to an earthquake or do you see an accident on the freeway in which you’re stuck in traffic for two hours, a blackout how would you contact your family, If you could who would you call? Where would you go? a friend’s house nearby? school? Do you know how to turn off the gas to your house?

Many people are naive when it comes to preparing for disasters; they believe it’s unnecessary or a disaster won’t ever happen. California is one of the most disaster-prone states. Suffering from frequent forest fires, flooding, landslides, winter storms, and even tsunamis. However, the natural disaster that is most common in California is earthquakes according to

We have always said “if I had a bit more time I’d be prepared”. Well now there is a way this app called ‘MyShake’ allegedly claims to warn people 30 seconds before the shaking starts. I know you might be wondering how this is possible and if this is even true. Well when a fault starts to slip sensors placed nearby can record the waves of energy traveling through the earth flag it for computers to estimate the size and intensity of the earthquake. This is all possible because electronic communications can travel faster than the waves according to

If your school went into lockdown for a natural disaster depending on the natural disaster, there are protocols. For in an emergency of a fire we’d obviously head the opposite direction until the fire department and police department come in and direct us but until then parents must wait to take out students. Our teachers are trained for the most common natural disasters like earthquakes and fires. We also have large crates with first aid, tents and blankets on campus for such emergency. Something that I didn’t know but know now is schools get priorities so American Red Cross would come in and give schools supplies first according to Ms. Mc Donald.

What would you do with that 30 seconds? Let’s picture you’re at home with your family and suddenly, a disaster of any kind occurs. Are you and your family prepared? Do you have an emergency kit? A plan on where to meet if you were to be separated? Do you know where to go? Would you say you have a good sense of direction? These are just some simple questions and situations that both you and your family should prepare for and have answers to.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

· Water-one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

· Food-at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

· Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert

· Flashlight

· First aid kit

· Extra batteries

· Whistle to signal for help

· Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place

· Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

· Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

· Local maps

These are essentials that should be in your emergency kit states ‘READY’ an Official website of the Department of Homeland Security.

Here’s what some student think they might do in the case of an emergency:

“I think the first thing I’d do is contact my mom and if she doesn’t answer then I’d be at easy knowing that she knows I’m in school somewhere large in space and safe. We do have an emergency kit in the car, but we do need to add more things to it because we only have first aid and a flashlight in there”. – Alexis Leon (12)

“I honestly don’t know what I would do if anything id go to my sisters’ class to make sure she’s fine then somehow left the class and go somewhere save. No, we do not have an emergency kit we have bandages and other things around the house but it’s not all in one place as it should be in an emergency.” – Larry Perez (12)