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Napa quake a reminder for SCV, city emergency official says

Posted: August 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 26, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita’s emergency preparedness czar says Sunday’s Napa earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale is a reminder to residents that the Santa Clarita Valley could be hit any time with a devastating earthquake or fire.

“An event like this gets you looking at your lifelines,” Donna Nuzzi, the city’s emergency services supervisor, said Monday. “No water, no power, no gas — just being able to cope and deal with that and be prepared for that” is the goal of emergency preparedness, she said.

Photos of the city’s downtown show rubble dumped into city streets from building facades.

“Unreinforced masonry is why we practice drop, cover and hold without exiting (a building),” Nuzzi said. “Any type of facade — things are coming off buildings.”

The Napa quake occurred about a week before September is observed as Disaster Preparedness Month. For those with outdated water in their disaster kits — or who never got around to putting together such a kit —the city will offer tips and courses on being prepared, Nuzzi said.

Workshops are scheduled throughout the month. Perhaps the highlight will be a presentation by Margaret Vinci of the California Institute of Technology on the development of earthquake warning systems. That seminar is set for Sept. 18.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called on Congress Monday to fund such a program.

“An earthquake early-warning system would provide crucial time to carry out lifesaving actions,” she said in a statement. “A warning of even a handful of seconds would allow for emergency notifications to be sent; trains and traffic to be slowed or stopped; supplies of oil, gas and chemicals to be turned off; nuclear plants to be safeguarded; even elevators to be safely emptied.”

Feinstein said two bills from the Senate Appropriations Committee would fund such a program, which Nuzzi said could provide seconds to shut down power to gas pumps or set off an alarm in operating rooms.

Other websites providing tips to effectively prepare for disaster include the Red Cross, www.redcross.org, the California Emergency Management Agency, www.oes.ca.gov, and the Southern California Gas Co., www.socalgas.com.

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