St. Irenaeus’ Health Ministry sponsored a very informative workshop on earthquake preparedness on Oct. 21st presented by Susan Trant, owner of Be Ready Earthquake and Survival Products. Susan listed practical plans and products that could help us survive a disaster. The presentation was attended by about 40 people, including Cypress Mayor, Stacy Berry.
The evening started with an opening prayer by Deacon Bruce Sago. Then, Health Ministry Facilitator, Monica Kovach introduced Susan Trant. Susan stressed the need for preparedness to bring us peace of mind. She gave some biblical references, such as Noah and the ark and Joseph’s story, to add a spiritual connection to preparedness.
The most important tasks that Susan asked each of us to do were to register with Alert OC, create a disaster kit or buy it, and gather the proper paperwork together. You can register with Alert OC at www.alertoc.com. Alert OC will notify you by text if a disaster is in your area. Susan recommended that we copy important documents and place the copies in a waterproof pouch that can quickly be taken with you if you have to evacuate. A helpful list of necessary documents was distributed. Susan recommended that original documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and social security card, be kept in a safe deposit box or safe. Copies should be kept with you in a waterproof pouch, which can be kept in your freezer for safety until you need to take it with you. A list of your important paperwork should be given to a friend or relative who does not live in your area.
Other vital things that Susan mentioned to include with your copies of paperwork were a blank voided check, to facilitate possible reimbursement from FEMA, and a list of the prescription drugs used by each member of your family, including the strength, dosage, doctor, prescription number, pharmacy and pharmacy phone number. These may prove life-saving in the case of people with chronic illnesses.
It is imperative to have enough water and food to survive for three days after a disaster because first responders will probably be overwhelmed trying to assess the situation during the first three days. Susan estimated that the ratio of people to each responder would be 3000 to one. She recommended that we have a gallon of water per person per day, half for drinking and half for sanitation. She told us how to get needed water from our water heater (about 40 gallons) and keep it pure.
The importance of having a plan of action was emphasized. This included designating a family meeting location away from your house, plus the need for an emergency contact out of state. Also, Susan recommended regularly checking up on elderly neighbors, utilizing the CERT Program (Community Emergency Response Team) and CEPA (Community Emergency Preparedness Academy).
This workshop by Susan Trant was a reminder to us all that procrastination is not a good option. The San Andreas fault and other faults crisscross California. In addition, fires have become a daily danger. We need to prepare in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property.