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In memory of the 25th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region urges residents of Southern California to take the necessary steps to prepare their households for an emergency.

“The Northridge earthquake serves as a reminder that earthquakes are an unavoidable fact of life here in California, so we have no excuse to be caught off-guard,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO at American Red Cross Los Angeles Region. “The next earthquake could be even more devastating and a little knowledge and preparation can make all the difference between life and death.”

The 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the San Fernando Valley on January 17, 1994 and was one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history. The Red Cross mobilized 15,000 workers, served 1.7 million meals, provided shelter for nearly 22,000 people and provided mental health counseling to more than 40,000 affected Californians.

In the 25 years since Northridge, the Red Cross and its partners have been working to prepare Southern California for the next catastrophic disasters. A program called PrepareSoCal works to engage community leaders in some of the most vulnerable neighborhoods across Southern California to bring preparedness education to every household.

After a major disaster, families should be prepared with enough food, water, and emergency supplies to last up to two weeks until help can arrive. The Red Cross recommends three basic steps:

GET A KIT. Pack the following items in an easy-to-carry container – a gallon of water per person, per day; non-perishable food; flashlight and hand-crank or battery-powered radio; extra batteries; sanitation and personal hygiene items; copies of important papers; extra cash and any medical or baby supplies family members may need. See full details here.

MAKE A PLAN. Have all members of your household help create your emergency plan. Consider what emergencies could happen where you live; what to do if you are separated and how will you let loved ones know you are safe. Find full details and easy-to-use plan templates here.

BE INFORMED. Learn what disasters are common to your area. Find out how local authorities will let you know an emergency is happening. Make sure at least one household member is trained in first aid and CPR in case help is delayed during a disaster. You can also download the Red Cross First Aid App at to have instant access on how to handle common first aid emergencies. Learn how to get fully informed about emergencies here.

For more information and preparedness tips, visit

Submitted by Marilyn Jimenez Davila


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