Disaster experts encourage Southlanders to prepare for ‘The Big One’

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FEMA recommends that disaster readiness kits have enough supplies to last for at least three days, per person.

From the steps of Los Angeles City Hall, disaster experts on Friday repeated the Southland earthquake mantra: Be prepared. The warning comes from a report scientists released after they traveled to Chile. They examined how people responded after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck that region just over a year ago.

Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Jack Wise says one important lesson researchers brought back with them is that every family should have a plan.

“I can assure you that the government and the local agencies are doing all they can to prepare themselves," Wise said. "But you as residents, have you done everything you can? Have you got your plan together. Have you got your family organized. Have you got your kit together?”

Wise says families can seek out free programs that teach earthquake preparedness, especially during April, which is National Earthquake Awareness month. Scientists who studied the Chilean earthquake also recommend that building owners do more to ensure that structures are as safe as possible in case a quake hits.

The American Red Cross sponsored the study on last year’s Chilean earthquake response.

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