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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Long Beach Needs to Get Ready for Big One

The Long Beach earthquake, estimated magnitude...The Long Beach earthquake, estimated magnitude 6.25 Ms, occurred at 5:55 p.m., March 10, 1933. Brick buildings with unreinforced masonry walls, including many school buildings failed catastrophically. 120 people died in the quake largely from collapsed buildings or falling debris. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The City of Long Beach was devastated in 1933 when a major earthquake hit the city. 90% of the schools were destroyed due to faulty construction. Students had to attend classes for almost 2 years -- in tents and on the grass at local parks.

Back to the future. Right now small quakes have been hitting southern California. Last night and then this morning, several more.

Long Beach needs to get ready for the next big one that is coming. I have mandated my staff to complete CERT training (as I have done). Community Emergency Response Training is one of the best ways to get prepared. It is training provided by the LB Fire Department.

Here's what city government needs to do:

  • Fill the position of Disaster Preparedness Director. A few years ago, the Disaster Preparedness Director left the city. He has not been replaced.
  • Mandate that every senior city staff person completes NIMS -- National Incident Management System. Encourage the local school districts and hospitals to have their senior staff complete it as well.
  • Expand CERT training so that more and more residents can get trained on what to do if an earthquake hits.
  • Upgrade the city website on emergency preparedness so that is includes more information and looks like (I requested this several months ago.)
  • Communicate with residents about what to do and where to go if their homes are destroyed by an earthquake. 
  •  Make sure pet owners know what they need to do to prepare in the event of an earthquake. has information.

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