Are you prepared?

Strange weather we are having, no? First we had a little rain and now it's hot, hot, hot. My father shakes his head and mutters, "Earthquake weather." I'm too hot to point out that it's earthquake weather every day. But it's the truth. Today is also the last day of National Preparedness Month.

How did Los Angeles celebrate the month?

Beverly Hills posted Emergency Preparedness banners all over the city and, on 9/15, hosted a lecture by seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones on the culture of preparedness. I always hate it when agencies bombard you with information but never provide concrete access to supplies. I grumble every time I see a "Be Prepared" bus shelter so I was pleaded to learn that the City of Los Angeles held its 17th Annual Emergency Preparedness Fair at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits on September 13th. The same fair was repeated at the Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park, near the L.A. harbor, on 9/20 and in Panorama City on 9/27. The L.A. City Employee Preparedness Expo at City Hall Farmers Market happened on 9/11. The Red Cross staffed an Emergency Preparedness Fair in Spanish and English in Huntington Park on 9/28. Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Watch hosted “Map Your Neighborhood” session, training residents how to organize their neighbors in the event of a disaster on 9/27.

And I missed each and every one of them. Typical. I always hear about such opportunities after the fact.

Just because Emergency Preparedness month's over, doesn't mean I can't get prepared now. We're heading into a season loaded with earthquake preparedness fairs and workshops.

The Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council is hosting a Shakeout Block Party on Saturday, October 4th from noon till 5:00pm in preparation for the upcoming Great Southern California ShakeOut Drill, scheduled November 13, 2008. The ShakeOut drill centers on the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario, a realistic portrayal of what could happen in a major earthquake on the southern end of the San Andreas Fault. Created by over 300 experts led by Dr. Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey, the scenario outlines a hypothetical 7.8 magnitude earthquake originating near the Salton Sea, which would have the potential to devastate the region.

Participants register and perform the earthquake drill "Drop, Cover and Hold On" at 10 AM PST on November 13th.

I've registered and set up my own ShakeOut page. I plan to gather supplies from vendors and agencies at fairs organized around the November 13th event. I'll report in on how I am faring with my disaster kit assembly all October and November. I just bought an emergency backpack kit for 2 at Home Depot on Friday. I may be single and childless but I have cats, people! Let me know what you are doing, too.

The ShakeOut will be the largest collective earthquake drill organized in U.S. history: here's a list of events happening in LA.
L.A.'s going to have its big rally on November 14th from 4 pm to 11 pm in the Nokia Plaza of L.A. Live.

That same week, the City of Los Angeles will host the International Earthquake Conference at the Omni hotel so the whole town will be shaking with buzz about disaster plans.

Like the weather, it's going to be impossible to ignore.

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