LBPD Encourages Employees to Prepare for “The Big One”

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great-ca-shakeout Prepare for "The Big One"As part of the Great California ShakeOut, the Long Beach Police Department is encouraging its employees to take the necessary steps to prepare their families for a major earthquake, or other potential natural disasters.

The Great California ShakeOut, which takes place on Thursday, October 21st at 10:21 a.m., is a statewide exercise that encourages Californians to practice the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. In 2009, more than 6.9 million participated state-wide, and the City of Long Beach will be participating once again.

Additionally, City of Long Beach employees are registered disaster service workers, and are therefore mandated to remain at, or report to work in the event of a major disaster. As a result, and due to possible road closures and other obstructions, their families may not be able to rely on them for several hours or days at a time.

The L.B.P.D. is recommending to all employees that they sit down with their families to discuss what to do if a major disaster should occur, create an emergency plan, and prepare emergency kits for their homes and vehicles.

“For their own peace of mind, I would like each employee to make a personal commitment to take these important steps,” Chief Jim McDonnell said. “Knowing that they have done everything they can to prepare their own families for a major disaster, they will be able to focus on responding to emergency situations and assisting the community.”

As a result of major disasters, electrical, water, transportation, communications, and other vital systems can be disrupted for several days. Emergency response agencies and hospitals could be overwhelmed and unable to provide immediate assistance. Knowing first aid and having supplies will save lives, make life more comfortable, and will help residents cope. To learn more about how to prepare your own family for a natural disaster, visit the local chapter of the American Red Cross online.

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