The "Big One" is Coming: Why Are Angelenos Still Unprepared?
In late August, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake disrupted life in some of the U.S.’s biggest population centers in the East. Hurricane Irene descended upon the Atlantic Coast the same week, stranding thousands without power or running water. Here in Southern California, scientists have long warned of an earthquake of potentially catastrophic proportion – an occurrence that’s not a question of “if”, but of “when". Yet only 57% of Angelenos report having disaster readiness items in their homes, and less than 50% of households have an emergency plan. Quality of life after any disaster is directly tied to the degree of preparedness. How can we as a community turn this equation into reality? What plans does Los Angeles already have in place, and what programs can citizens take part in to increase our chances of survival? The informational panel, moderated by KPCC's Christal Smith, addressed general and specific aspects of disaster preparedness, and also included Q&A about the expressed needs, interests, and concerns of various members of our community with regard to disaster readiness in the home and immediate environment. Guests included: - John Pacheco, Executive Director, American Red Cross, Santa Monica Region - LAFD Captain Stacy Gerlich, Head of Los Angeles Fire Department's CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) - Dr. Ken Hudnut, Geophysicist, US Geological Survey 's Earthquake Hazards Program - Nancy Mathews, Corporate disaster preparation consultant and lecturer - David Barrett, cofounder, MySafeLA Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images