Tornadoes have continuously swept through the Midwest for months leaving behind fatalities, shattered lives and destruction. We have witnessed images of Myanmar after it was devastated by a cyclone leaving 78,000 dead as the numbers seem to climb each day. Then China was hit by a 7.9 earthquake with numerous aftershocks that are still happening, killing at least 67,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
Wildfires are commonly associated with Southern California, it is a way of life for most of us over here in SoCal. However, wildfires can happen anywhere. Right now there are wildfires raging in Northern California in which 4600 homes are being threatended. There are also wildfires in Colorado and North Carolina. Any time that there is a shortage of rain or hot temperatures and/or wind, there is potential for a wildfire. Click HERE to assess your wildfire risk.
In light of these disasters and a 99% probablity that California will experience a 6.7 OR GREATER magnitude earthquake within 30 years, it is essential that Californians prepare themselves and their families for the worst. According to new research,"the probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake over the next 30 years striking the greater Los Angeles area is 67%, and in the San Francisco Bay area it is 63%, similar to previous Bay Area estimates. For the entire California region, the fault with the highest probability of generating at least one magnitude 6.7 quake or larger is the southern San Andreas (59% in the next 30 years). If you would like to read the whole news story related to these statistics, click HERE.
Here is what a 6.6 has already done to the Los Angeles area:
Click HERE to read about what a 7.8 could do to Los Angeles.
Click HERE to take a 10 question interactive quiz to see how much you know about earthquake preparedness.
The state of California wants to help us prepare for disaster, so they have started a campaign called WE Prepare. I was asked to review this new initiative and web site for the state of California. The purpose of this blog is to educate others about how to prepare for disasters and to review the We Prepare site.
Here are my opinions of the We Prepare campaign site:
The layout of the site is great. It is easy to navigate through and flows well. The information contained within the site and for disaster preparedness is extremely thorough and informative. I also liked seeing Maria Shriver and her message.
I did notice a few aspects of the site that could be improved upon:
1) After navigating through the site, it becomes unclear if the campaign is We Prepare or California Volunteers. I also feel as though being prepared for a disaster is very different from volunteering for a disaster, so I wonder if the two issues when placed together may either 1) confuse people or 2) scare them away because they are too busy to volunteer and if that is what "we prepare" is about then they will just click away from the site. I have a Masters degree and I was even confused :)
2) It took me a very long time (a couple of days) to find the Spanish version of We Prepare. That needs to be more prominent. There should also be translation services within the site for other languages.
3) There needs to be current and up to date news about disasters affecting California to make people see the need to prepare. Just telling them that they need to prepare and giving them facts won't do it. They need to see streaming video of what is happening in CA and read the latest research like the earthquake study that was just completed. Also, the earthquake that just happened in China could happen here within 30 years...people need these visual and emotional cues to take action.
4) The site needs its own URL. From what I can tell...the site is buried within the government site. This makes it difficult to find using a search engine (I know because I tried it). I think it needs to stand alone. You can point more than one URL to a site.
5) The Mom Brigade info is too vague. Moms need to know upfront what they are going to be asked to do. A bulleted list describing what being a member of the Mom Brigade means would be helpful and would enlist the service of more mothers. I personally would not sign up for something if I didn't know what was acutally going to be required of me ahead of time. Also, if reaching out to mothers to facilitate a family disaster preparedness plan is the main focus, then the message is completely lost until you see a little circle that says Join the Mom Brigade.
6) The PDF is too long. No one wants to print out 45 pages of stuff. There has to be a way to condense this :)
Besides all of these minute details that I have listed, I still feel like the We Prepare campaign is an asset to ALL Californians and even to people in other states. It is important to be ready for any type of disaster. In California, that could be earthquakes, wildfires, terrorism and/or other man made disasters, flash floods, tsunamis, mudslides...this list is everexpanding because of Global Warming. Tornadoes even touched down in Southern California last month...click HERE for more info.
Every person needs to take into consideration of living in a state of emergency for at least three days. You don't just need water and food. Make sure that you have every family member's needs met for three days including your pets. Make sure that you have an extensive first aid kit, solar powered flashlights and other devices,essential hygeine products,important medications etc. The state of California has an extensive checklist of items that you will need and a very thorough family disaster plan that can be filled in online and printed out.
Go to WE PREPARE to view the State of California website dedicated to disaster preparedness. Be sure to be prepared and help other families be prepared...let's take care of each other:)
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