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April 17, 2012
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California Earthquake Authority and American Red Cross join forces

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the American Red Cross joined forces to help people prepare to survive and recover from California’s next damaging earthquake and to support an online auction to benefit Red Cross preparedness and response programs.

The new statewide auction is managed by Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and promoted through the CEA’s earthquake preparedness campaign. Through April 27, Californians have an opportunity to bid on 28 items including a Paris flyaway to see Coldplay and a celebrity-escorted visit to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Every dollar donated through the auction will support American Red Cross preparedness and response programs in California. Auction details are available at www.GetPreparedCalifornia.org.

“Working with Red Cross to join forces has been exciting,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “We all know the Red Cross for its compassionate outreach in our own communities. By adding this new auction to CEA’s statewide media campaign, we hope to motivate more Californians to make earthquake preparedness a priority.”

To accomplish this goal, expertise from the American Red Cross on preparing a kit, making a family disaster plan and being informed, has been combined with CEA’s residential-insurance expertise and loss-mitigation knowledge to promote a comprehensive preparedness plan for California residents.

This joint effort was partially prompted by a UCLA School of Public Health and Survey Research Center study that reported in 2010 “relatively few (California) households have acted to mitigate losses and reduce injuries” resulting from earthquakes.

California has about two-thirds of the nation’s earthquake risk. Some 2,000 known faults crisscross the state, producing an average of 102 earthquakes a day — more than 37,000 a year.

According to the 2010 State of California Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, strong earthquakes of magnitude 6 to 6.9 strike California an average of once every two to three years. An earthquake this size can cause major damage if the epicenter is near a densely populated area. The 1994 Northridge earthquake (magnitude 6.7) caused more than $40 billion in disaster losses, 57 deaths and 11,846 injuries.

“Working with the CEA to help more people learn how to take care of their families and neighbors will make our communities more resilient to damaging earthquakes,” said American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter CEO Harold Brooks.

Prepare for the next shake

Get a kit: Keep basic supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit you may use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

Make a plan: Identify out-of-area emergency contacts. Decide where to reunite with loved ones after a disaster in case phone lines are down. Write your plan on an emergency contact card and store in your phone along with important numbers for emergency resources in your area.

Be informed: Discuss how to prepare and safely respond to emergencies most likely to happen where you live, work and play. Learn how notification systems in your area will work.

Consider earthquake insurance: Most residential insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage — a separate earthquake policy is required.

Secure your home’s structure and contents: Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation. Bolt and brace water heaters, gas appliances, bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs. Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches or anywhere people sleep or sit. Brace overhead light fixtures. Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets — store heavy items closest to floor.

Practice how to drop, cover and hold on: During an earthquake, know how to drop to the ground, take cover under sturdy furniture, and hold on to that furniture until after the shaking stops. Visit www.ShakeOut.org.

About the Alliance to promote earthquake preparedness

California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed, privately funded organization that provides catastrophic residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake loss. It is governed by a board that consists of California’s governor, state treasurer, and insurance commissioner. Visit www.EarthquakeAuthority.com

About American Red Cross

American Red Cross provides relief to people affected by disasters and empowers individuals and communities to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. By helping people learn how to take care of their families and neighbors, it helps to make communities more resilient to disasters large and small. The Red Cross does this by fostering a volunteer network, and by forming partnerships with government entities, community organizations and businesses. Visit www.RedCross.org.

— Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 17, 2012 04:13PM Published Apr 17, 2012 04:12PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.