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What to do?

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In the event of:

 Earthquake Extreme Heat Fire 
 Flu Wind  


Living in Southern California, we all have a responsibility to be prepared for the next damaging earthquake. The Los Angeles region has a very seismically active past. With that in mind, the time is now to take steps to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the next seismic event.

Being prepared for earthquakes can be easy, we suggest you follow these simple steps:

  1. Get a Kit - We recommend that you are prepared to be on your own for up to 7 days. An emergency preparedness kit should include food, water, bedding, medications, pet preparedness materials, and other items you rely on.
  2. Make a Plan - Every individual, family business, and organization should have an emergency plan. An emergency plan should consist of important contact information, including out of state contacts and meeting place locations.
  3. Be Informed - Sign up for Connect South Pas.
 Should an earthquake occur...

Drop!Cover!Hold On! Protect Yourself. Spread the Word.

 Indoors: Drop, cover, and hold on. During earthquakes, drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops. If you are not near a desk or table, drop to the floor against the interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and kitchen cabinets with heavy objects or glass. Do not go outside!

 In bed: If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are.

After an Earthquake...
Check for injuries:
  • If a person is bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound. Use clean gauze or cloth, if available.
  • Administer rescue breathing if necessary.
  • Carefully check children or others needing special assistance.
  • Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Get medical help for serious injuries.
Check for damage:
  • If possible, put out small fires immediately.
  • Shut off the main gas valve only if you suspect a leak. Wait for the gas company to turn it back on.
  • Shut off power at the main breaker switch if there is any damage to your house wiring. Unplug broken lights or appliances as they could start fires.
  • Hazardous materials such as bleach, chemicals, and gasoline should be covered with dirt or cat litter.
  • Stay away from chimneys or brick walls with visible cracks. Don't use a fireplace with a damaged chimney.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and objects in contact with them. 
The first days after the earthquake:
  • Until you are sure there are no gas leaks, do not use open flames or operate any electrical or mechanical device that can create a spark.
  • Never use the following indoors: camp stoves, gas lanterns or heaters, gas or charcoal grills, or gas generators. These can release deadly carbon monoxide or be a fire hazard in atershocks.
  • Turn on your portable or car radio for information and safety advisories.
  • Check on the condition of your neighbors.
  • If power is off, plan meals to use up refrigerated and frozen foods first.
  • If your water is off or unsafe, you can drink from water heaters, melted ice cubes, or canned vegetables.
  • Report damage to your local building department and to your local office of emergency services.
 Do not leave home just because utilities are out of service or your home and its contents have suffered only moderate damage.

If you cannot stay in your home: If you do evacuate, tell a neighbor and your out-of-state contact.

For more information regarding actions to take during an earthquake go to

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Things you should know about fire

The City of South Pasadena does not face a significant wildfire threat. That being said, individuals can take steps to prevent fires and make their homes and families safer.

Home Fires

Fire safety preparation for the home is easy. Simple steps to take include developing a fire escape plan for your family, and educating family members, including children, about safe evacuation. Additionally, be sure to include pets in your family fire escape plan.

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms save lives.

"Almost two thrids of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms." -

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Test alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace batteries on all smoke alarms at least once a year.

Fire Extinguishers

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives.

  • Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket.
  • To operate a fire extinguisher remember the word PASS
    • Pull the pin
    • Aim low and point the extinguisher at the base of the fire
    • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly
    • Sweep the nozzle from side to side
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when using the device so you can make an easy escape if necessary.

Extreme Heat

Whether you're sunbathing, bike riding or washing your car, on a hot day the symptons of a heat injury can sneak up on you.

Protect yourself and others by following these steps:
  • Avoid the sun from from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. when the burning rays are strongest.
  • Use a sunscreen with a sun protect factor (SPF) of at least 15 if you need to go out in the sun. Remember to apply sunscreen liberally to the chidlren in your care.
  • Water a wide-brimmed hat and light colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes when you're outdoors. This type of clothing reflects heat and sunlight, which helps you maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Reduce physical activity.
  • Avoid hot, heavy meals that include proteins. These meals increase your metabolism and water loss, and rais your body's natural way of cooling.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you aren't thirsty. Eight to ten glasses of water a day are recommended. Drink even if you are exercising or working in hot weather.
  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeine since the are diuretics (i.e., promote water loss).
Staying Cool: The Cool Center Program, sponsored by Southern California Edison, provides safe, air-conditioned facilities free for your use during hot summer days.

For more information about Cooling Centers in the Los Angeles area, click here.

Heat Injuries, Symptoms and First Aid:
  • Sunburn is usually a first-degree burn that involves just the outer surface of the skin. Symptoms include redness and pain. Severe cases may cause swelling, blisters, fever of 102 degrees or above and headaches.
    • First Aid: Use ointments, as well as cool baths or compresses, for less severe case. Don't break the blisters; if blisters do break, use a dry germ-free dressing. In severe cases, consult a physician.
  • Heat cramps often are related to dehydration. Symptoms include increased sweating with painful muscle spasms of the arms, legs and occasionally the abdomen.
    • First Aid: Remove the victim from the hot environment. Apply pressure on or gently massage the spastic muscles.
  • Heat exhaustion is the inability to sweat enough to cool yourself. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting as well as cold, clammy, pale, red or flushed skin. A marked body temperature rise will not occur.
    • First Aid: Remove the victim from the heat. Lay the victim down and loosen the clothing. Apply cold compresses and cool the body by fanning the victim or placing the victim in a cool environment. Consult a physician if vomiting continues.
  • Heatstroke occurs when the body stops sweating but the body temperature continues to rise. Symptoms include visual disturbances, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and, as the condition progresses, delirium or unconsciousness. The skin will be hot, dry, and red or flushed even under the armpits. This condition is a severe medical emergency that could be fatal.
    • First Aid: Consult a physician immediately or call 9-1-1. Remove clothing and place victim in a cool environmnet, sponge the body with cool water or place the victim in a cool bath. Continue the process until temperature decreases. DO NOT PROVIDE FLUIDS to an unconscious victim.

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HEALTH TIP: Get the flu shot! Prevent the flu!

While pandemic flu is of great concern, the seasonal flu causes a great deal of illnesses and death every year. Preventive measures such as frequent hand washing and getting your annual flu shot are ways to keep healthy.

While the flu shot is especially important for those who are most likely to get very sick from flu (such as elderly and infants), anyone wishing to get the shot should do so. Even if you are not concerned about getting the flu, people rarely keep their illnesses to themselves- avoid spreading the flu to others. Get the shot and help to keep our community healthy.

Find a flu shot near you:

Seasonal Flu  When sick, get plent of rest, drink lots of fluids, and stay home to keep from getting others sick.
  • Simple over-the-counter medicines are usually all people need to feel better (pain relievers, cough drops, etc.)
  • Children should never be given aspirin when they have the flu since it may cause a rare but serious condition called Reye's Syndrome.
  • Remember, antibiotics don't work for flu viruses. Most people will not need to see a doctor when they have the flu, but if symptoms become very severe (problems breathing and extreme weakness) and if fever lasts for more than 2-3 days, call your doctor.
Pandemic Flu  Many of the simple steps to prepare for a flu pandemic are what you should do for a wide range of other emergencies, these include:
  • Talk to your family members. It is important to think about the health issues that could affect you and your family during a pandemic or other emergency.
  • Store food and water. During a pandemic, you and your family may not be able to get to a store, so it is important to have water and food items that won't spoil.
  • Create a medical supply kit and a family emergency health information sheet. Include prescription medications, pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold remedies, and first aid materials. List the important medical information that you might need for all of your family, such as: serious health conditions, allergies, and medications that you and your family need.

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  • Watch for flying debris. Tree limbs may break and street signs may become loose during strong wind gusts. Keep an eye toward mearby balconies for loose objects that may fall.
  • Take cover next to a building or under a shelter. Stand clear of roadways or train tracks, as a gust may blow you into the path of oncoming vehicles.
  • Use handrails where available on outdoor walkways and avoid other elevated areas such as roofs without adequate railing.
  • Avoid anything that may be touching downed power lines, including vehicles or tree branches. Puddles and event wet or snow-covere ground can conduct electricity in some cases. Warn others to stay away.
  • Do not touch anyone who has been shocked who may be in direct or indirect contact with a power line. You may be a second victim. Get medical attention as quickly as possible by calling 9-1-1.
At Home If you don't have to go out, stay home.
  • Secure or bring inside all lawn furniture and other outside objects that could become a projectile in high winds.
  • During the storm, draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home. Remain a safe distance from windows.
  • If your garage has an electric door opener, locate the manual release lever and know how to operate it.
  • Keep pets inside and ensurethey have shelter from the wind.
  • Prepare a kit with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and warm clothing, emergency phone numbers, a first aid kit and other items you might need if power is out for several days.
  • Stock up on shelf-stable foods such as canned goods, juices, peanut butter, energy bars, trail mixes and "no-freeze" entrees.
  • Plan ahead ways to keep foods cold. Buy some freeze-pack inserts and keep them frozen. Buy a cooler. Freeze water in plastic jubs or containers or store bags of ice.
  • Install surge protectors and/or battery systems for computers.
  • Do not run generators, gas grills, or other carbon monoxide producing equipment indoors while power is out.
  • Stay away from chain link fences around downed power lines. They can be electric conductors.
  • Most mobile/manufactured hoes are not built to withstand severe wind conditions. If informed by city officials, evacuate to a safer location.
In the Car
  •  Driving is extremely difficult and dangerous in high winds especially for high-profile vehicles such as busses, trucks, vans and RVs.
  • Use extreme caution around downed trees and power lines. Assume any downed power line is live.
  • If a line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Take care not to touch any part of the metal fram of your vehicle. If vehicle catches fire, open the door, but do not step out. Jump, without touching any of the metal portions of the car's exterior, to safe ground and get quickly away.
  • Slow down for debris in the street.
  • Be aware of City workers clearing debris and working to restore power.
  • Treat all non-working taffic signal lights at intersections as stop signs.
  • Slow down for traffic officers at intersections with non-working signal lights.

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