Did you know that September is Emergency Preparedness Month? Our leadership at the Islamic Center of Southern California takes the safety of all our members seriously and raising awareness to ensure that our community is prepared for emergency situations is one way that we can help.  
Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen four earthquakes strike in this region of the world – two large, devastating earthquakes in Mexico (8.1 & 7.1), one off the coast of California (3.3), and another with its epicenter near UCLA (3.6).  Earthquakes are not new to the people of California, but it has been quite a few years since a major earthquake has rattled Los Angeles, and experts say it’s just a matter of time until the next big one hits. Are you prepared?
In the days of Prophet Noah (PBUH), Allah sent a warning – to prepare for a day in which all those who denied His message would be destroyed. When Noah heard this warning, he immediately called to the people, and when directed, he began to build the ark that would provide safety. So too, must we heed the warnings of those who have knowledge that we do not regarding natural disasters – such as earthquakes. It is incumbent upon all Muslims to be properly prepared to the best of our abilities and protect the life that Allah has breathed into us as human beings.
Being educated and prepared for natural disasters, such as earthquakes, can help save your life and the lives of those you love during an emergency situation. Please take a few minutes and read the tips below from the L.A. Office of Emergency Management and start organizing your list of supplies outlined below by the American Red Cross.

Actions to Take DURING an Earthquake

  • To receive emergency notifications, register your cell phones and landline phones at Alert LA County at the website: http://lacounty.gov/emergency/alert-la
  • When you are in public places, be aware of your surroundings and identify your safe spaces.
  • If you experience shaking, the recommended actions are described in the slogan “Drop, Take Cover, and Hold On.” Drop under a piece of furniture; take cover under the piece of furniture by protecting your head and neck with one arm/hand; and hold on to the piece of furniture’s leg to keep it from shifting or uncovering you until the shaking completely stops.
  • Never run out of buildings during an earthquake, as most people are injured by falling debris as they try to exit buildings during the shaking.
  • If you experience shaking and are in a wheelchair or walker, lock your wheels, and cover your head and neck area with a pillow or some type of object that will deflect the debris from falling on to you.


Supplies to Prepare BEFORE an Earthquake

The American Red Cross recommends keeping supplies in an easy-to-carry bag or kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate. 
At a minimum, the Red Cross advises, you should have these basic supplies:
  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home).
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool, such as a Swiss army knife.
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers (portable chargers)
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area

We hope that you’ll review these tips to help prepare and keep stay safe in the future.