“We want to make sure people are as prepared as they possibly can, to be their own first responders in the event of a large catastrophe, such as an earthquake,” said Jean Carey, Coachella Valley Disaster Preparedness Network.
On Wednesday, the City of Indio hosted its first ever Emergency Preparedness Expo in honor of National Preparedness Month. Various vendors from the Coachella Valley and Riverside County shared information, tips, and resources to help residents be prepared before, during, and after an emergency.
“We look at what we’re susceptible to in the desert, so earthquakes are our biggest hazard. We’ve seen weather, flooding, power outages,” said Dennis Day, Emergency Operation Center Manager.
A disaster can happen at any place and at any moment.
“Experts are saying that we’re well overdue for a significant earthquake here in the Coachella Valley,” said Day.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare for a safe outcome.
“There’s a lot of little and easy things to do at home to be prepared,” said Carey.
The Coachella Valley Disaster Preparedness Network says it all starts with “What’s in your bag?”
“We recommend that you have in your bag, a pair of very heavy shoes,” said Carey. There’s going to be a lot of debris in your home, maybe there will be some broken glass.”
The next item – is a flashlight preferably one that is hands-free.
“It’s not a fashion statement, but it makes my hands free,” said Carey. “So my hands are free, I can help anyone who needs help in my home, I can help myself.”
“Heavy pair of gloves, really heavy pair of gloves,” said Carey. “There will be broken material, perhaps some glass, and we don’t want you to hurt yourself. We don’t want you to be a part of the problem.”
In the event of an emergency, resources – including emergency personnel, can be spread thin, but with prior emergency planning, you can be your own first responder and a resource to your family and community.
“It’s better to be prepared than not to be prepared,” said Carey.