Past events such as the New Orleans Katrina disaster and the terrible tsunami in South East Asia will forever remind us of our vulnerability to natural disasters. Our city’s past history makes us no stranger to experiencing a natural disaster or calamity. Tornadoes and hurricanes have beset our area’s seaside location for centuries. The bottom line is that we are not immune or insulated from the effects of nature’s wrath.
For example, Long Beach has experienced numerous problems historically from the earthquake of 1933 to a hurricane a few years later that wiped out many homes along our coastline in Belmont Shore and the Peninsula.
Locally we must continue to be vigilant, informed, and prepared to be able to warn our fellow citizens and respond to any type of natural disaster. We must also have the capacity such as transportation, supplies and equipment to act quickly and effectively to protect life and property. What happened in New Orleans could happen to our city of Long Beach if we are not prepared.
So what do we do? The answer is simple… NOW is the time to take inventory of you or your family’s ability to survive for at least 7 days without help from our city’s local public safety elements. Food, water, emergency household supplies such as flashlights, portable radios, batteries, and of course a communication network are all invaluable and priceless in time of need. Also do not forget your ability to recharge your cell phone and have an out of the area contact to communicate with to find out the current status of the damage and assessment of assistance from all the agencies involved in the effort to help.
If children are part of your concerns, make sure they are well informed of what you know, and places they can go such as school or nearby church if they were to become separated from family or friends.
We must avoid at all costs what happened in New Orleans. That unfortunate disaster was a fundamental lack of preparedness and an uninformed and ill equipped government response.
Our City’s Health and Human Services Department, (562) 570-4382 is a good place to start in what will be an invaluable investment in time and lifesaving preparedness.