SANTA BARARA, Calif. - The Executive Director of the American Red Cross serving San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties has yet to experience an earthquake, but she is ready to survive one.
"Being from Tennessee, I've never even experienced an earthquake in my life,however, working for the American Red Cross has taught me the importance of really being prepared, something as small as keeping sturdy shoes beside your bed and a flashlight so that if there is an earthquake and broken glass on the floor you can easily get up and get out," said Kimberly Coley.
The American Red Cross and Amazon sells ready made kits for about $99, but the Regional Director of Communication for the American Red Cross encourages people to customize their own.
Jessica Piffero said,"We encourage families to get a kit, make a plan, be informed, three simple steps,"
She said a family with small children and pets will need more than basic necessities such as food and water. It's important to have medications, too.
Piffero also suggested people make digital disaster kits by photographing or scanning important documents.
The kit can be placed in an easy to grab tote bag. Once you've got it, put it in a place that is an easy grab and go.
In the case of a fire, Piffero said, "You may only have two minutes, you don't have a lot of time. Put it in a tote bag you can grab easily and get out."
Then practice an earthquake drill twice a year that includes drop, cover and hold on lessons. Some old safety measures have changed.
They no longer recommend standing in doorways since they are not stronger than other parts of a structure.
For a link to packing lists and safety drill information go to redcross.org.