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Earthquake Preparedness | HaveLight Flashlights

Emergency Preparedness, Loma Prieta Earthquake 1989,

Loma Prieta Earthquake 1989

Earthquake Preparedness and HaveLight Flashlights –

It’s hard to believe 25 years have passed since a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook San Francisco and surrounding counties; collapsing homes, office buildings, bridges and highways. I just moved from Los Angeles, CA to Greeley, Colorado when the local news started broadcasting reports and images of the destruction of that terrible day. My employer’s west coast headquarters was located in Alameda, California and I had friends scattered throughout the Bay area. Concern for their well-being was enormous.

Having experienced quakes when living in Southern California, the largest being a 5.2 on the Richter Scale it was incomprehensible for me to appreciate the amount of energy released during a major earthquake of 6.9. Earthquakes are measured in logarithmic scale where the amplitude of the ground motion recorded by a seismograph increases ten times as measured from one whole number to the next. Just think what the people of Japan must have felt when a 9.0 magnitude mega thrust earthquake struck in 2011. Regardless of earthquake size a consistent reality for those who have experienced a quake is the feeling of how small and powerless a human being is relative to the enormous forces of nature. This perspective reinforces the importance of preparedness for a major catastrophe.

Fortunately none of my friends and coworkers was injured in the quake; although, a number of them sustained property damage. The stories told of the time the quake struck and the chaos that followed is burned into the lifetime memories of those who were in the area.

A couple weeks after the Loma Prieta earthquake, named after a mountain peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I returned to the Bay area to participate in building assessments associated with structural damage impacting asbestos containing building materials. Months of work followed in which inspections led to managing asbestos removal projects in preparation for building demolition. Work also presented the opportunity to see firsthand the aftermath of this historical and tragic event which claimed the lives of 63 and injured 3,757. Since 1989 Bay area cities and counties have spent billions of dollars working on preparedness measures for the next big quake.

My travels through life have experienced or witnessed the results of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, blizzards and flooding. Although I have seen a variety of natural disasters in reality there are very few of us who have not been impacted by multiple natural disaster over the course of time, which only speaks to the frequency and commonality of how natural disasters are part of everyone’s life.

There is nothing we can do to prevent a natural disaster but we can take preparedness steps to ensure we minimize their impact when they occur. Emergency preparedness starts with planning, followed by preparation and learned through practice. There a number of resources available to assist with emergency preparedness including information posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Extensive reading material is presented that addresses a variety of potential events including natural disasters and bio-hazards.

Preparedness includes assembling a well-stocked kit of essential items that includes food and water supplies, cooking utensils, blankets, clothing and a variety of tools that include flashlights. I suggest NightStar No Battery or rechargeable handheld lights eliminating the need for maintenance and replacement batteries.

All the planning and preparation in the world does not work if unaware of how to implement your preparedness plan. The old cliché “practice makes perfect” is spot on. Take the time to go over with family members the established procedures that support family safety and communication. Speaking of communication expect electrical power to be unavailable. A crank flashlight such as the Vortex Crank Flashlight also operates as a remote phone charger providing an excellent auxiliary device. Portable solar kits also work well at providing electrical backup power for low voltage equipment.

Our planet is a dynamic environment that is in constant flux. Events like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake are relatively common on a global scale and with more people populating the planet such events will impact the lives and wellbeing of an increasingly larger number of individuals. Add to the mix the number of other events that exist and preparedness just makes sense.

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