Recent quake sparks preparedness efforts

Earthquakes are an inescapable part of living in California, they are uncontrollable and for the most part, unpredictable. Being prepared for a natural disaster before it happens can make a big difference on those living on or off campus. In wake of the recent 6.0 magnitude earthquake felt by many throughout the Bay Area, now is the perfect time to insure personal safety by preparing an emergency preparedness kit in the event of a large natural disaster.

Emergency preparedness kits can be found at local hardware stores such as Bennett Valley Ace Hardware located in Santa Rosa. Kits can also be purchased online from websites like Amazon. These kits should include a complete first-aid kit, enough nonperishable food and water for several days, flashlights and a radio with extra batteries, personal hygiene products and any other essential items such as medications. Preparedness kits can also be pieced together individually. For more information on how to put together an emergency preparedness kit, visit ready.gov.

“When I moved here, my parents and I put together an emergency survival kit. It is important to have a kit because you never know what could happen. There may not be an earthquake, it might be something else. You can’t worry about what or when something is going to happen, just be prepared,” said Mackenzie Larson, a junior and resident of the Beaujolais Village.

Earthquakes are known to impact the infrastructure we rely on daily such as broken water mains, gas leaks, wide spread power outages and being cut off from food supplies. According to the United States Geological Survey, if there is a large earthquake, the aftershock sequence will produce many more earthquakes of all magnitudes for many months after.

Sonoma State University has emergency procedures posted on every residents door in case of an earthquake. These include remaining calm, seeking shelter under a desk or table and exiting the building once the shaking has stopped. 

“My first and foremost responsibility is insuring the safety of the residents,” said George Kujiraoka, community service advisor for Beaujolais Village West Bordeaux. “We do run practice evacuation drills, and in light of the recent earthquake, it will most likely happen sooner rather then later. It is important that everyone takes these drills as seriously as they would as a real emergency. Even though this was a smaller earthquake, I would have liked to have seen the whole evacuation procedure put into effect, just to make sure the building was safe and to insure that all the residents and staff know how to execute the emergency procedure properly.”

The harder hit Napa region suffered nearly $300 million in damages to homes and businesses according to San Francisco Chronicle. Counselors from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available to help any students affected by the recent earthquake or individuals having faced difficult times of any kind. 

Andrew Kerlow-Myers Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, recommended visiting the American Red Cross website regarding earthquake preparedness and recovering emotionally from disasters. The website states, “When we experience a disaster or other stressful life events, we can have a variety of reactions. Stay positive. Remind yourself of how you’ve successfully gotten through difficult times in the past. Reach out when you need support, and help others when they need it.” 

As always, CAPS counselors are available to help via appointment or telephone at 664-2153 between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.