Disaster preparedness

YUMA, Ariz. – More than 4,000 people are dead in Nepal after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rumbled through the city Saturday morning. The last time there was anything comparable in Yuma was Easter Sunday 2010, when a 7.2 magnitude quake shook Mexicali, Imperial, and Yuma counties.

“When we have things that occur across the country or across the world that brings more attention, often we see an uptick in the interest.” said Mike Erfert who works at Yuma’s Fire Department.

Erfert says it’s everyone’s responsibility to have supplies for at least 72 hours after a natural disaster strikes.

“Our emergency services are very prepared to respond to emergencies just the size of that emergency. Then it comes down to personal and family preparedness to fill those gaps.” said Erfert.

Have a plan, have a kit, and be informed is the best way to prepare for a disaster according to Erfert. Food, water, medication, and other essentials should all be part of your kit. While some people are very prepared others are not.

“I’ve got a flashlight, I’ve got a can-opener, I’ve got a towel, blankets, scissors, water, I do have extra water in there.” said Irene Flores who lives in San Jose and is very familiar with earthquakes.

“This is an earthquake area where we live, but we are more flat and laid out than other cities. There would be damage but I wouldn’t know what to do, or how to help, or what I need to keep me alive for a week.” said Joyce Manson who lives in Yuma but had never heard of a disaster kit.

You can see the city’s step-by-step personal and family survival guide online where you will find a checklist of items you should have in your disaster kit.

“There are stores in our community that sell those kinds of things. If it’s going to be sporting goods store where they carry items for camping and that sort of thing.” said Erfert.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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