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Cell Phones, Pagers, etc. Please turn to OFF, VIBRATE, or SILENT. To Download CERT Program Materials: http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/CERT/ www.cert-la.com. A HISTORY OF CERT. 1987 – LAFD Disaster Preparedness Founded 1988 – First CERT Team Trained

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Cell Phones, Pagers, etc.

Please turn to OFF, VIBRATE, or SILENT

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To Download CERT Program Materials:



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  • 1987 – LAFD Disaster Preparedness Founded

  • 1988 – First CERT Team Trained

  • 1994 – FEMA Accepted CERT AS #1 Program For Citizen Preparedness

  • 2002 – Citizen Corps

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Course Syllabus

Class 1 - Earthquake Preparedness, and CERT Operations

Class 2 - Disaster Fire Suppression

Class 3 - Disaster Medical Operations, Session 1

Class 4 - Disaster Medical Operations, Session 2

Class 5 - Light Search & Rescue Operations

Class 6 - Team Organization & Management

Class 7 – Homeland Defense

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Class 1 Objectives

  • Describe the types of hazards most likely to affect your home and community.

  • Describe the functions of CERT’s and their role in immediate response.

  • Identify steps to prepare yourself for disasters.

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We Need Citizen Volunteers?

  • 95% of all rescues performed in times of disaster or national emergency are performed by spontaneous rescuers

    • People Like YOU

    • Neighbor helping neighbor

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We Need Citizen Volunteers?

  • 1992 - LA Riots

  • 1993 - Floods

  • 1993 - California Brush Fires

  • 1994 - Northridge Earthquake

  • 1996 - California Brush Fires

  • 1998 - El Nino

  • 2001 - Terrorism

  • 2003 - California Brush Fires

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What Is A Disaster

  • Anything that exceeds our ability to handle the problem

    • Exceeds Resources

    • Exceeds Rescue Personnel

    • Results in Great Loss of Life

    • Results in Massive Destruction

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Disasters can be . . .

  • Manmade

    • Terrorist Attack, War

  • Technological

    • Power, Telephone, Water or Food System Failures

  • Biological

    • Plague, Flu, AIDS

  • Natural

    • Earthquakes, Fire, Flood, Hurricane, etc.

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5.0 - 6.0


6.0 - 7.0


7.0 - 8.0



Magnitude - The Richter Scale

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1857 - Fort Tejon - 7.8

  • January 9, 1857 - 8:20 am

  • Last great quake on the San Andreas in Southern California

    • Only 2 deaths

      • 1 woman died in her adobe house collapse

      • 1 man died from a heart attack

        • 60 miles away in L.A

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1933 - Long Beach - 6.4

  • Pre-1933 Buildings (Jefferson Jr. High School)

    • Changed building codes

    • Prohibited unreinforced brick and masonry buildings

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1964 - Anchorage, Alaska - 9.2

  • Duration

    • >4 min

  • 10,000 Aftershocks

  • Largest EQ ever in the U.S

    • 2nd Largest In World

    • 1st Chile 1960, 9.5

  • Deaths – 115

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1971- Sylmar - 6.7

  • Olive View Medical Center

    • New building

    • Liquefaction

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1971- Sylmar - 6.7

  • Sepulveda VA Hospital

  • Pre-1933 construction

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1987 - Whittier - 5.9

  • One Death

    • Crushed under falling debris

      • Went from indoors to outdoors

      • Friend who remained indoors was uninjured

  • Majority Of Damage Was To Older Structures

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1989 - Loma Prieta, Bay Area - 7.0

  • Much of the damage in San Francisco could be directly related to the type of soils that structures were built on.

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1994 - Northridge - 6.7

  • 57 Deaths

    • Over one-half the deaths occurred after the shaking stopped

    • Time of day limited potential death count

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  • Major Damage to Multiple Structures

  • Parking Structures Collapse

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Tsunami – The Unexpected Hazard

  • Tsunami (Open Ocean) Waves

    • Caused by large under ocean land movement

  • Local Waves

    • Caused by underwater landslides in bays and fiords


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Tsunami - Valdez, Alaska 1964

  • The Tsunami in Valdez, AK snapped off these trees.

    • Caused 82 deaths in Alaska

    • 4 in Newport Beach California

    • 16 in Oregon

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Sudden mixing of Soil and Groundwater

Increases damage

Tall & narrow buildings behave poorly

High-rise buildings with foundations going to bedrock do well

Areas of fill soils, ancient river or lake beds, or with poorly compacted soils do not do well in an EQ


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LOS ANGELES - ‘71Olive View Medical Center

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Disruption of Transportation & City Services

  • All City services will be over extended

  • Normal services will not be available

  • You will have to rely on your own resources, skills and knowledge

  • Supplies and assistance will be slow to arrive

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Driving during an EQ

  • Slow Down.

  • Pull Over and STOP.

  • Turn on the Radio for Emergency Bulletins.

  • Proceed Cautiously if it is Safe to do so.

  • Obey “Road Closed” signs.

  • Avoid Crossing Damaged Roads.

  • Avoid Power Lines.

  • Do Not Stop Under Underpasses or on Bridges.

  • Do Not Drive Through Water.

  • Do Not Abandon Your Car

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Seek A Safe Location & Stay There!

  • Travel immediately after an earthquake will be extremely hazardous.

  • There is a chance what you felt was a pre-quake to an equal or greater event coming in the next 2 hours.

    • Stay Where You Are

    • Seek a Safe Location and Stay Alert


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Have Emergency Supplies In Your Car

  • First Aid Supplies

  • Water

  • Walking Shoes

    • You may be walking home

  • Warm Clothing

  • Rain Gear

  • Some Food

    • Not as important as H20

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Walking immediately after the EQ will be extremely dangerous

  • More buildings collapse from aftershock than from the main earthquake

  • Rubble may be thrown 1-1/2 times the height of the building

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We Know That After A Major Earthquake

  • Vital services may not be able to assist you

    • They have the same problems everyone else does.

      • Some Fire Companies had to cut themselves out of their fire stations.

  • There will be a loss of access to many areas

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You Also Need To Prepare to Evacuate

  • Other Disasters May Follow:

    • Flood

    • Dam burst

    • Riot

    • Looting

    • Fire Storm

    • Toxic Chemical Leak

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Electrical Power

  • Power may be out for Weeks.

    • Have battery operated sources of light.

      • Have plenty of extra batteries

    • Don’t use open flame or fuel stoves & heaters indoors

  • Be aware of downed power lines.

    • May energize metal fences

    • May reenergize at any time until repaired

  • Consider the use of generators.

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  • Telephone services are cut and restored on a priority basis

    • Government & Emergency Lines

    • Long Distance

    • Pay Phones

    • Business & Residential

  • Your phone may not be turned on for days or until call load has dropped

  • Pay phones will be the 1st working phone that the general public will have access to. Remember to have small change

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Cellular Telephones

  • Are actually radios

  • Should work

    • But will probably be overloaded

    • May only work if calling another cell phone

      • On the same cell system

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Out-of-State Contact

  • Outside of the area of potential impact

  • Long Distance

  • All family is informed of such and agrees

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Damage to Natural Gas & Oil Refineries

  • Keep auto fuel tanks at least 1/2 full

  • Keep a camp stove at home for cooking

    • For outdoor use only

    • Indoor operation presents the risk of fire and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Keep extra clothing, blankets or sleeping bags for warmth

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Identifying hazards associated with different construction designs and different building types

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Safest building to be in during an earthquake

Rarely collapse due to wood frame construction

Masonry chimneys and glass present most serious internal home hazards

Greatest risks for injury are from non-structural hazards

Outdoor block/brick garden walls fail regularly

Be aware of:

Patio covers, sheds

Single Family Homes

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  • Wood frame construction is safest design

    • Most of LA’s apartments are of this design

  • Apartment over garage

    • Most damaged type of dwelling in NR quake

    • Result of relatively large open areas in garage

      • Lacks shear strength

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  • Relatively safe

    • Designed to withstand EQ’s

  • Will normally flex and sway to absorb earthquake energy

    • Up to 20 feet each direction in highest buildings

  • Will drop glass and façade material on ground below

    • As far away as 1-1/2 times it’s height

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Public Assemblies

  • People panic when:

    • They feel their life threatened

    • And they don’t know what to do

  • They will always rush for the same door that they came in. This is where the crush will occur.

    • Look for alternate exits before you need them

    • Make a escape plan

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Disruption of Water Supplies

  • You may be up to 30 days without water in the pipes of LA

    • Any quake over 5.5 should lead you to suspect your water quality

  • You need to keep 5 gallons of water, per person, stored at home

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Commercial Bottled Water

  • Soft plastic bottles, (milk & 1gal H2O type)

    • Milky white plastic not for long term storage

    • 6-month rotation of stocks

  • Medium hard plastic bottles (Evian type)

    • Good for up to two years

  • Hard plastic bottles (Sparklets type) with intact factory seals

    • May be good for up to five years

  • Above applies if H2O is keep in a cool & dark location.

    • Don’t store directly on concrete

      • It will leech chemicals out of the concrete. Contaminating the water and causing pre-mature failure of the plastic

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Alternative Sources for Water

  • Toilet TANK > > > > > >


    • Don’t use if you have chemical cleaners/color in the tank

  • Water Pipes in your home

  • Water heater

  • Don’t Drink Swimming Pool Water

    • It may cause illness

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Boil water vigorously for 5 min

+ 1 min. for each 1,000 ft. elevation above sea level


2% Tincture of Iodine

12 drops per gallon


Chlorine Bleach

Sodium Hypochlorite

Do not use scented bleach

Chlorine Bleach is the most practical way to purify water

4 drops per quart

16 drops per gallon

1 teaspoon per 5 gallons

If water is cloudy double all

Boiling times


Water Purification

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Disaster Foods

  • 5 day supply

    • Canned & Dry Goods

    • Should limit alcohol, spices, etc.

  • Rotate Every 6 months

  • Try to use familiar foods prepared in their normal manner

    • Hot foods hot, cold foods cold

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Remember Pets Are People too!

You need to have extra medication on hand

  • Your child care provider needs to store extra supplies

    • And know special needs

Special Needs

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Identify the best location

Varies with where you live

Rotate every 6 months



Children's Clothing

Pack it so it stays together

Trash Cans

Back Packs

Plastic Storage Boxes

Indoors vs. Outdoors

Cool Dark Place

Keep water off concrete

Supply Storage

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You Need To Be Able To Do Your Own First Aid

  • Customize your kit to your own needs

    • One in home, car, and office

    • Include extra prescription medication, old prescription glasses

  • Get training in first aid

    • Red Cross

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Prepare to be Independent

  • Training and preparedness are the key

  • Have the knowledge and equipment ready in case emergency services are unable to help you

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  • Water mains will be broken

    • Engines carry approx. 500 gal of water

  • 911 will be out or over run

  • In a City wide disaster if your home catches fire, it will be up to YOU to put it out

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Smoke Detector

Escape Route



Family Room

Dining Room


Living Room





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Waste Sanitation

  • Don’t Bury, Burn, Throw into Dumpsters or Leave in the Open.

  • Have Heavy Weight Trash Bags on hand.

    • Line toilet bowl and use as a dry camp toilet

      • Double bag all waste

      • Store in covered plastic trash barrels until City Sanitation identifies treatment sites.

  • Have plenty of Wet Wipes to clean up.

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    • Turn off your Gas and Electricity

      • If you smell or hear a gas leak

      • See or smell smoke or fire

      • If you are going to leave your home vacant


    • Turn off you water for any quake over 5.5

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How To Turn Off Your Gas

  • Locate the correct valve on your gas meter

    • Comes out of the ground before the meter box

    • Identify the correct valve now and paint it RED

  • Turn 1/8 turn to test


  • Make sure you have a correct fitting wrench

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Automatic Gas Shut-off

  • The FD recommends Automatic Gas Shut-off Valves

    • Turns the gas off if you are not at home

    • Turns the gas off if you cannot

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How To Turn Off Your Electricity

  • Turn off small breakers first

    • Or remove all the fuses

  • Then turn off the main

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How To Turn Off Your Water

  • Whenever there is ever a quake over 5.5.

  • Until you drain your Water Heater & Water Pipes in House.

  • Test your valve before it’s needed.

  • Keep it off if there are leaks or if you're leaving home.

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Secure it if it’s at or above desktop level.

Sit/Sleep away from windows.

Or use EQ film to keep windows from shattering.

Safety wire ceiling fixtures.

Secure all gas appliances.

Washer, water heater, stove.

Secure refrigerator.

Secure cabinet doors.

Secure pictures with glass.

Or replace with Plexiglas.

Make sure bedroom is best prepared room.

Furniture/Headboard secured

Flashlight w/batteries



Escape ladder

Non-structural Hazards

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Hazardous Materials Safety

  • L.I.E.S

    • Limit

      • Limit the amount you have stored

    • Isolate

      • Isolate hazardous materials from your living area. Keep in original containers. Store in a closed cabinet, bottom shelf

    • Eliminate

      • Eliminate excess or unused material

    • Separate

      • Hazardous materials from each other

      • You may not realize about dangerous incompatibilities

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Hot Water Heater

  • Over 40 gal.

    • Plumbers tape no longer legal

    • Must use State approved restraining device

  • Inspect & replace flex line every 10 years

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Keep Book Shelves Secured to Floor and Wall

Keep Books on Shelves

Restraining bars, straps, etc.

Use Velcro, museum wax, fishing line, wire, etc. on all heavy or valuable items placed on shelves

Secure Shelves and the Items on Shelves

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Beware hazards stored in your garage

A gasoline or chemical spill could render you otherwise undamaged home uninhabitable

Don’t keep your car in the garage immediately after an earthquake

Put your emergency supplies in the car

Important records

Small valuables

Park outside pointing toward your exit route

You don’t know what may be coming


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Duck, Cover, and Hold

Protect your head

Nothing to get under

Get away from overhead hazards

Get against an interior wall

Sit down & protect your head with your arms

Move outside only after the shaking has stopped

Watching for overhead hazards

What Do I Do When the EQ Strikes

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Stay out of doorways

  • Old advice is good if you live in an pre-1933 brick house

    • Doorway all that remains upright in a pre-1933 brick building collapse

  • People have been injured by a swinging door

  • Duck, Cover & Hold

    • Get low against an interior wall and cover your head

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Staying on your bed during an EQ

  • Old . . .“If in bed when the EQ strikes, stay there and ride it out”

    • Still OK if your on the top floor

    • Think about it if you on the second floor and up

  • Duck, Cover & Hold if you’re on the first floor

    • Prepare a safe location next to your bed

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Most Dangerous Location

  • Transition between Indoors and Outdoors

    • Stay where you are until the shaking has stopped

  • Then cautiously make your way outdoors

    • Watch for overhead hazards

      • Loose objects, building facings, patio covers, etc.

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Do not use electricity

Use stairwells, not elevators, if they are safe


Walking Shoes

Check your home or office

Fire, damage, gas leak


Family, friends, neighbors

Find a nearby safe location and stay there

Aftershocks will follow

Wait until it’s safe to travel

Try to reach your out-of-state contact

Listen to the radio/TV

Plan a safe route home

After the Earthquake

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Red Cross


Front of your phone book

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

State Office of Emergency Services (OES)


A major source of information

City Website

LAFD Disaster Preparedness Unit



Sources for More Information

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Begin Food & Water Storage

Begin Collecting Safety Equipment

Establish An Out-of-State Contact

Locate and Test

Gas shutoff valve

Water shutoff valve

Locate and ID

Electrical panel

Mark circuits if unmarked

Homework Assignment