Lack of emergency preparedness may create disaster

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By Chelsea Li and Kenny Lam

Devastation has swept through Texas and the southeastern states throughout the past few weeks in the form of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Costing billions of dollars for damages and displacing millions of Americans from their homes, these tropical storms are just some of many natural disasters in the US. However, despite these calamities that have come and gone, the majority of students and families in San Gabriel High School are not prepared for a disaster, such as an earthquake, if it were to ever strike.

“No, I’m not prepared” was the resounding answer by students when asked if they were prepared for a natural disaster. This lack of preparation may prove disastrous, especially since many SGHS students reside in close proximity to the San Andreas fault.

The San Andreas fault, located in northern Los Angeles (LA), has been long overdue for a movement. The fault has not ruptured since 1857, which is an ample amount of time for the tectonic plates to accumulate massive energy. This means that a large-magnitude earthquake could uproot LA and neighboring cities at anytime.

“Can you camp at your house for a week without going to the store?” environmental science teacher David Whitman said.

Stressing the importance of earthquake preparedness within our community, Whitman listed the minimum necessities for an emergency: at least three days worth of water, non-perishable food, and medical supplies. Despite the simplicity of a three day survival kit, an insufficient amount of southern California residents are fully equipped with these.

“Rosemead has what, 55,000 people? I’ll bet you 5,000 are prepared, and 50,000 aren’t prepared. So about 10% or less,” Whitman said. “Look at yourself, are your families prepared for an earthquake? No? Then you’re the statistic.”

Preparing for natural disasters may also bring good out of the community. During Hurricane Harvey, thousands of volunteers across the country headed out to assist and rescue those in the affected areas. In lieu of an earthquake, members of the community need to also be prepared to help one another.

“You’re around a bunch of people miserable and stressed. The citizens need to help each other,” history teacher Eric Hendrickson said. “If [students] watched all the people [in Texas] on YouTube or the news, I am hoping students will want to be excellent citizens.”

Especially in times of disaster, Hendrickson hopes that members will be able to bond together.

 

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