Are YOU ready for the Big One? Off-Ramp 3-19-2011

Rabe asks: Are you prepared for a natural disaster?

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

If you live in Southern California, you’ve thought about it this week: “What’s happening in Japan could have happened to us.” Still, most people lack a basic emergency plan and emergency supplies.

Scott Sangster has owned his Los Feliz house for about seven years. He says he and his family have always planned to prepare their house for a natural disaster, but never really followed through.

Disaster preparedness consultant Christal Smith says procrastination like that isn't unusual.

"It has to do with mostly denial," she said. "And also a feeling of hopelessness. When you do sit down and really start to take a look at what you might need, it's overwhelming. It makes you just want to just say, 'Oh, forget it.'"

FEMA recommends residents prepare for three days without help, per person. In Sangster's case, that means four people total, plus their dog.

He isn't alone. In the days following the Japan earthquake, Smith's business has seen a dramatic increase in calls.

"Now that people can actually visualize it, there's been a big turn. A lot of people are coming to me," she said.

"Some of the best advice I got from Christal cost nothing to do," Sangster said. "If a disaster strikes when you're separated, how do you re-connect? Where do you meet? It doesn't require any online shopping. I'm motivated."


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