Disaster preparedness in the Coachella Valley: are you ready?

By Gregoria Partida

Student Contributor


The Coachella Valley sits on top of a seismic zone making the area vulnerable to earthquakes. In order to prepare ourselves for “the big one,” The Chaparral researched the subject and interviewed Carol Camelot, a local expert with over 30 years of experience on the topic. Camelot is a Disaster Readiness Consultant and owner of Disaster Survival Training.

Although there are many things to keep in mind when preparing for a natural disaster, here are ten fundamental tips we gathered through our research from various sources:

TIP #1: Keep a minimum of 2 gallons of drinking water per person and pet per day for 30 days. Water is life, especially here in the desert. So besides keeping water at home, don’t forget to also store water in your vehicle and your office.

TIP #2: Have a pair of working gloves and protective goggles.

TIP #3: Locate your water and gas supplies now and have a set of wrenches handy to turn off supplies when a disaster strikes.

TIP #4: Keep canned and packaged foods at home and in your office.

TIP #5: Have a first aid kit and other medical supplies at home, in your office and in your car.

TIP #6: Make copies of vital documents such as insurance policies, birth certificates, marriage licenses, identification, passports, medical records, important phone numbers and blood type information.

TIP #7: Have a minimum of a 3 weeks supply for seriously needed medication.

TIP #8: Discuss the importance of disaster preparedness with your family, neighbors and friends and make a plan to assist each other.

TIP #9: Keep a positive state of mind before, during and after a disaster.

TIP #10: Have a portable radio and extra batteries at home, in your office and in your car.

In addition to these helpful tips, Camelot shared with us the “Triangle of Life,” which is a technique that gives people a greater chance of survival during earthquakes. The Triangle of Life requires you to lay down behind or next to a furniture piece such as a couch, bed, or bookshelf to prevent any structure from falling on you directly. Doing so, the furniture can withstand and hold up portions of a collapsed structure giving you a triangle of safe space. Contrary to popular believe, the greatest chance of injury and death caused by earthquakes comes not from objects flying across the room, but from structures collapsing. Therefore, it is unwise to lay under objects such as tables that have a tendency to collapse under the tremendous weight of a caved in wall and/or roof of a building. This fact has been documented and recognized internationally by firefighters, first responders and police officers alike. The Triangle of Life, also sometimes called “The Survivable Void” method, has been widely proven to be the most successful lifesaving technique.

For additional information or to know more on how you can best be prepared for a seismic disaster, contact Carol Camelot at (760) 409-6350 or visit www.disastersurvivaltraining.com.

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