As directors, we get questions about services here at Leisure World in the event of a serious earthquake or major disaster. Following are some suggestions that might help. Everyone is unique. Consider your own situation and plan accordingly. Protect yourself in advance.
Neither GRF nor Mutual 7 can take care of you in an emergency. As an active living community, we are each expected to take care of ourselves. Further, we have been advised that in a major disaster, the roads may not be clear and Police and Fire may be assigned to other priorities. We could be on our own for several days or even weeks.
Prepare Now-Ahead of time
Buy and store extra food and water for yourself, your caretaker and pets. Water is critical to drink and for sanitary purposes. Plan a gallon a day per person and pet and have enough to last for 3 weeks if possible. Store canned but nutritious food. Note expiration dates and rotate as necessary. See 21 Weeks to Prepare by the American Red Cross to stock up without breaking the bank. (Below.)
Pack a “go bag” in case you have to evacuate quickly. Pack sturdy shoes, medications, glasses, emergency phone numbers and cash among other necessities. Get an Emergency Supply List prepared by Homeland Security for suggestions.
- Get a File of Life, fill it out, keep it current and post it on your refrigerator. If you have a bright pink POLST Form from your doctor, you are urged to post this on your refrigerator also.
- If you change or update your emergency phone contacts, you need to advise Stock Transfer. The mutual no longer keeps copies of your emergency information.
- Survey your personal medical needs. If you need electrical backup for medical equipment like a respirator or CPAP machine, talk to your medical providers and make arrangements ahead of time. The mutual does not have a generator to lend you nor does GRF. You need to do this for yourself. Sign up with Edison for advanced notice of any planned power outages. (1-800-655-4555)
- Conduct a “hazard hunt” and secure tall heavy furniture with straps or wall anchors and objects which could go airborne with safety putty. Call the Y’s Men if you need help. Move heavy objects to lower shelves and heavy lamps, pictures or mirrors away from where you sit or sleep.
- Copy and store documents in a safe place perhaps off-site. Work with an insurance agent who is familiar with this community. Be sure you are properly insured for Leisure World.
- Plan where to meet loved ones if separated here in Leisure World. Set up an out-of-the-area contact. Expect to text if phones down.
- Buy a fire extinguisher. Mutual 7 will reimburse you up to $20 with proof of purchase. Once you buy it, figure out how to use it. Find your flashlight and check the batteries. Consider a 10-day Duro-Lantern which you can buy from Purchasing. While you are there, check the other emergency equipment. Watch the paper for Emergency Expos and the annual Shakeout practice.
- Take a First Aid, CPR or CERT Class. We will reimburse you for that too. If you have taken CERT anywhere, brush up and review at
Neighbor Helping Neighbor which meets the first Fridays.
- Become a Building Captain. Get to know your neighbors. Learn how you can help your friends and loved ones in an emergency.
- Get a whistle and remember where you put it. It may be able to call out for help louder than you can.
Helpful Hints DURING an Emergency:
If it’s an earthquake, drop to the floor in an area away from windows and tall furniture if you safely can. Cover your head and neck with hands and arms and Hold On until the shaking stops. Be careful of after- shocks.
Pick up a copy of DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON at the next Safety Expo. This pamphlet provides helpful suggestions and diagrams about what to do DURING an Earthquake on the freeway, at home in bed or in a grocery store.
If it’s a fire, spend only a few seconds trying to put it out. After that, exit quickly. Shout “Fire!” Shout loudly many times. Call or have someone else call 911. Rouse your neighbors and get them out of the building. Don’t be embarrassed. JUST DO IT.
If it’s a flood, avoid storm drains and irrigation ditches. Stay off bridges and away from moving water. Never drive around a barricade. Be extra aware of traffic near inoperative traffic lights.
If you can hear thunder, you may in danger from lightning. Seek shelter in a substantial, permanent, enclosed structure. Never shelter under a tall tree or near a telephone pole. Don’t go anywhere near a downed power line. Keep others away. Listen to The National Weather Service.
If you have any Medicare questions, visit HICAP (Counsel on Aging) in the vicinity of the Café. Call for an appointment at 562-431-4797 or
email HICAP_coaoc.org. Translation can be arranged. Sign up for
emergency notifications at https://alertoc.bbcportal.com or call Eloy Gomez for an application at 562-431-6586 Ext. 356.
After an Emergency……..
Following a major emergency, the Building Captains will try to survey their building for casualties and damage but their response will be limited by their own casualties and damage. Mutual 7 participates in the nationwide earthquake “Shakeout” every fall. Even if you can’t volunteer, try to be present during the drill and use this time to review your personal plans and supplies. In the event of a real disaster, please make yourself known if you have had medical training.
Additional Information: Prepare for Emergencies Now: Information for Older Americans and separate flier for People with Disabilities provided by FEMA: These include common sense measures to help us older Americans start preparing for emergencies before they happen.
Preparing your pet for Emergencies-FEMA: helpful tips for 4-footed residents.
Drop, Cover and Hold On is provided by the Earthquake Country Alliance
Click here to learn how to prepare an emergency kit in 21 days.