While countless people on the East Coast have lost everything they hold dear as a result of Hurricane Sandy, life has simply went on for us in California.
Even though our hearts are with the victims of the hurricane, unlike those victims, we can simply turn off our television sets and not have to hear about all the devastation in the news.
Billions of dollars in damage has been done, countless people are living without power, people have completely lost their homes and neighborhoods and there are even those who have lost their lives.
Although we live in the same country as the hurricane victims, we’ve simply continued on with our routines here in Long Beach.
Because of the size of the United States we haven’t directly felt the impact of Sandy, so from our perspectives, it’s almost as if nothing has happened.
Sandy, however, shouldn’t be a horrible natural disaster that took place in far away states that we don’t have to think about. Sandy should be a wake up call for every Californian that we aren’t invincible.
Hurricanes may not be the norm in California, but we do live in a state where earthquakes are very possible.
A large earthquake could disrupt our lives in a blink of an eye, and take away everything we hold dear too.
We also have a massive neighbor called the “Pacific Ocean,” where a strong enough underwater earthquake with the right circumstances could cause a disastrous tsunami.
What would we do if a giant wave hit our beach city and we became the news story on people’s televisions across the nation?
Instead of simply feeling bad about Sandy and going on with our lives like nothing has changed, we can use Sandy as a reminder to be prepared for a natural disaster that may impact us here at home.
Whether it’s simply teaching someone how to drop, cover and hold on during an earthquake, to securing resources like food and water for an emergency, are you prepared for surviving a disaster?
According to the California Emergency Management Agency, you should be prepared to last at least 72-hours without water, gas, electricity or even telephone service.
You should have a ready a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, extra clothing, blankets and cash.
How many of us can say we have all that covered?
CalEMA even advises you to practice and plan how you would deal with an earthquake, or where you would meet up with your loved ones if you got separated.
Right now is the time to get informed on how to live through something like Sandy. Go do research, talk to local safety officials like firefighters, Google some tips on natural disaster survival or visit CalEMA’s website. More importantly, share that information with your friends and family.
If Sandy tells us anything, it’s that a natural disaster can happen anywhere and we are not in the clear.
That doesn’t mean, however, we can’t be prepared and ready for when they happen. Be smart. Be ready.
Jack Chavdarian is a senior journalism major and an assistant social media editor for the Daily 49er.