By Kevin Schaefer |Staff Writer|
On Fri., Feb. 15 a meteor flashed across the Russian sky producing a massive sonic boom injuring more than 1,000 people and blowing windows across the region.
Like in countless numbers of other natural disaster, many witnesses who were affected were unprepared.
Most students and faculty reside on a natural disasters waiting to happen, since we are right along the San Andreas fault line. Many believe the “Big One,” meaning a substantial earthquake, will hit in the not too distant future.
Students and faculty alike may not be as prepared for such disasters as we would hope for.
Many natural disasters, like the meteor that hit Russia, happen unexpectedly even with today’s most advanced technology.
“We don’t know exactly when, but we do know that it is coming. So, let’s assume it will happen sooner than later and get prepared for it,” said Geology professor Dr. Joan E. Fryxell.
Fryxell teaches the NSCI 315 natural disaster capstone class among other geology courses, which, in addition to looking at earthquakes, probabilities and preparedness issues, looks at an array of disasters.
“The water is going to be off. The electricity is going to be off. You need to be able to function when things are a mess and the utilities are off and there is damage,” said Fryxell.
According to SanAndreasFault.org, to prepare for a natural disaster start with the essentials: it’s dark half the time, so always have a flashlight, shoes and eye glasses within easy reach, especially near your bed.
If you can’t see or make your way to safety, you are in trouble.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website states that in most situations, you will reduce your chance of injury from falling objects (and even collapsing buildings) if you immediately drop, cover and hold on.
Far in advance, you can gather emergency supplies, identify and reduce possible hazards in your home and practice what to do during and after an earthquake.
Learning what actions to take can help you and your family remain safe and healthy in the event of an earthquake.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has an online guide called “Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness,” which is the agency’s most comprehensive source on individual, family and community preparedness.
The guide is revised and updated constantly to provide the public with the most current and up-to-date disaster preparedness information available.
“I actually have a backpack full of canned food and water bottles, that’s pretty much it,” said student Frank Manzo.
On campus, students like Michelle Martinez say they are not very well prepared because they feelthe drills we have are not well organized. As for home, Martinez said she has a case of water, but lacks other emergency items such as first-aid essentials.
“We lie on the San Andreas fault, where I live in Highland […] For an earthquake I would say the majority of people are not prepared because a lot of people would probably panic,” said student Stephanie Char.
We may not know exactly when the “Big One” on the San Andreas Fault will hit, but being prepared with knowledge and supplies may be the next best thing.