October was our “reminder” month: 23 years ago was the last great earthquake we have experienced. We have had many smaller ones since, but nothing like the destruction of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Hence, the title, “Are you ready,” as the next big quake is going to happen.
Are you, your family, your pets, and your neighbors ready to be self-sustaining for a minimum of 72 hours? After a major disaster, it is unlikely that emergency response services will be able to respond immediately to everyone’s needs, so it is essential that you be prepared to be self sufficient for at least three days.
We may not have power, water, access to food or transportation, communications, etc. after a major quake. In the likelihood of local communications circuits being overloaded or disabled, we are encouraged to designate an out-of-state contact person. That person should be far enough away to not have been in the affected area. All family members should check in there to ensure that everyone is accounted for and safe.
Duplicate important documents and keep them in another location such as a safety deposit box. Inventory your valuables via camera or video, and keep this list off site as well.
Make a family plan and ensure that all family members and those that you live with know the plan. Put together a disaster supply kit to include water, nonperishable foods, a first aid kit, a battery-powered or solar radio, and flashlights. When putting together this kit, take into account those with special needs like children, pets, seniors, and those with disabilities.
Consider signing up for the San Francisco Fire Department NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) training – visit the SFFD website (www.sf-fire.org) for upcoming training dates. Also, sign up for AlertSF (www.alertsf.org) so that you can receive text and e-mail updates during an emergency.
If we all become self-sufficient, we will come through a disaster more quickly and in better shape. Additional tips and disaster preparedness information can be found at www.72hours.org.
FOLLOWING THE NUMBERS
Changing gears, crime is up slightly, as might be expected after two years of dropping crime rates. The Marina District is in the Northern Police District five-car sector. The five-car boundaries are Broadway-Lyon-Larkin-Bay Street-Marina Boulevard (including Marina Green). Within those boundaries, the following trends have been noted:
- Street robberies are up 16 percent district-wide and the commonalities are (generally speaking) lone pedestrians walking after dark in more isolated areas while displaying electronic devices.
- Car break-ins are up 2 percent district-wide, and the commonalities are people leaving items that look like they have value in their cars.
- Burglaries are up 36 percent district-wide, with the commonalities being people leaving common garages open or accessible, allowing strangers into their common front door, and open windows/doors.
- Auto thefts are up 34 percent district-wide. Commonly stolen models include older Hondas, Toyotas, Jeeps, and all years of motorcycles.
Protect your valuables as best you can. A great crime prevention resource is San Francisco SAFE (www.sfsafe.org). On their website are many crime prevention tips, but another great service they offer is a residential or business site survey. Upon request, they will come out and walk through your property evaluating your existing anti-theft measures; they will then provide a written report suggesting further theft prevention measures as necessary.