Angelenos urged to add "OK" and "HELP" signs to readiness kits

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Ahead of Thursday’s annual statewide earthquake drill, city officials today urged Angelenos to add “OK” and “HELP” signs to their readiness kits. Residents should put the signs in their windows after any type of large- scale disaster to help first-responders efficient and treat those with the most serious injuries first.

The signs, which include basic instructions for what to do after an earthquake, were produced jointly by the city in a coalition with the American Red Cross and the United States Geological Survey.

City Councilman Mitchell Englander, chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said the coalition plans to distribute 50,000 copies of the OK/Help signs.

Englander’s Northwest San Fernando Valley council district includes Northridge, the epicenter of the region’s devastating 1994 earthquake.

“We’re at the epicenter of major disasters, so we know it is not a question of if, but when the big one will strike,” he said. “Just like an earthquake survival kit, the OK/HELP sign should be in every home.”

California residents are being urged to “Drop, cover and hold on” at 10:18 a.m. Thursday during the fifth annual Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill. About 8.6 million California residents participated last year, according to ShakeOut organizers. More than nine million are expected to take part this year.

“Together, scientists, policy-makers, emergency planners and community members share the goal of increasing our ability to survive and quickly recover from a major earthquake,” USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said. “The community needs to be involved in preparedness, and knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of a major quake is an important step.”

Information about the statewide drill can be found at www.shakeout.org/california.

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