Threats to Life & Property

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THREATS TO LIFE & PROPERTY

This section provides you with information about the potential impact seven selected threats can have on lives and property here in the Coachella Valley.

It is not a prediction of what will happen but rather an illustration of potential impacts. Review this material and then use it to help you finalize your family preparedness plan and your emergency supplies kit. Use the navigation buttons to the left to quickly go to information on one of the seven “Threats.

Coronavirus Disease 2019



 

EARTHQUAKES

California is earthquake country and the Coachella Valley is where really big quakes can happen. We at Trilogy live about 10 miles from the infamous San Andreas Fault. Scientists at the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) estimate that we are 300 years overdue for a “big” quake (magnitude 7.8 or so) on the San Andreas Fault.

Those scientists estimate that a magnitude 7.8 quake will cause shaking here in the Coachella Valley for well over 1 minute and this shaking will be so strong that you won’t be able to stand up till it’s over.

The fault line crosses Interstate 10 east of us and again in the Banning/Beaumont area so I10 will be cut in those places. This quake will disrupt telecommunications for days and will take out our power, water, natural gas, and sewer systems for weeks. Water and sewage systems will take the longest to get back in operation because there is not enough of the needed pipes anywhere in the United States.

Government agencies will start trucking in water but this will primarily be water for drinking. Worse, this quake will cause serious shaking all over Southern California with major damage from the Coachella Valley to Los Angeles and northern Los Angeles County. When emergency help starts arriving, it will go to the areas with the most people impacted and that will be the Los Angeles County area then the city of San Bernardino area. We’ll get help but it will be later coming and there won’t be as much of it. SO PREPARE NOW.

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN AN EARTHQUAKE HITS

  1. DROP down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquakes knocks you down). This position protects you from falling and allows you to move if necessary.
  2. COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  3. HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

 

POWER OUTAGES

We have all been exposed to short-term (1 to 12 hours) power outages.

In the summer here in the Coachella Valley, a power outage of over 6 hours can be devastating, but now imagine no power for several days during the summer.

For more information on Power Outages, click HERE.

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN POWER OUTAGES OCCUR:

  1. Use flashlights for emergency lighting; candles can be hazardous if there is a potential for a gas leak.
  2. Outdoor solar lights make great home emergency lighting devices. Get a couple of big ones from one of our local hardware stores and leave them outside where they can get sunlight to charge. Make sure you check the batteries every year. No power at night; bring in your solar lights and turn them on. Put them out to recharge each day.
  3. Turn off electrical equipment that you were using when the power went out.
  4. Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when power has returned.
  5. Leave your refrigerator and freezer doors closed so the food inside remains as cool and fresh as possible.
  6. Try not to open your refrigerator or freezer unless needed to keep the contents cold.
  7. Start eating your refrigerated and frozen foods before canned goods.
  8. Many radio and TV stations have axillary generators and will be on the air. Listen to your battery-operated radio (if you don’t have one, get one now) for the latest information updates. Car radios can provide a source of radio information.
  9. Make sure that your pets have plenty of fresh, cool water to drink.
  10. Make sure you and your house mates drink plenty of water. If the water system has no pressure, now is the time to start using the water you have stored for an emergency (you did that, didn’t you?).
  11. DO NOT run a generator inside your home or garage.

 

HEAT WAVE

Imagine one of our 120 degree summer days with your air conditioning keeping you cool when suddenly, there is a thump and the power goes out – not just your power but power all over the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) sector of the Coachella Valley
What to do when we have a heat wave and there is no power

  1. Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the sun.
  2. Draw your shades to keep out the sun.
  3. Drink plenty of water and limit your intake of alcoholic beverages.
  4. Wear loose-fitting, light-weight and light-colored clothing.
  5. Protect your face and head with a wide-brimmed hat if going outdoors.
  6. Avoid strenuous outdoor work during the warmest part of the day.
  7. Listen to your battery operated radio to get power system updates.

 

HAZMAT

You’ve just heard the news… a tanker has dumped ammonia on a well-traveled road near you. Or maybe a train carrying hazardous chemicals has derailed.

There are many types of incidents where hazardous chemicals or materials can put you at risk. You’ll hear about a HAZMAT incident over radio or TV Emergency Alert System or, if you have signed up for the city of La Quinta CodeRED Emergency Information System you’ll get an emergency phone message.

Haven’t signed up for CodeRED alerts yet? Click HERE to DOWNLOAD the MOBILE APP to your APPLE iPhone or ANDROID phone.

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN WE HAVE A HAZMAT INCIDENT:

IF IN YOUR HOME:

  1. Stay tuned to your radio or TV for information about evacuation routes, temporary shelters and safety procedures to follow.
  2. Minimize contamination in the house by closing all windows, shutting all vents and turning off attic fans and air conditioners (even in the summer).
  3. Bring your pets inside.
  4. Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels or plastic sheeting.
  5. If gas or vapors have already entered your building, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.

 

IF CAUGHT OUTSIDE:

  1. Be prepared to evacuate if instructed to do so.
  2. Stay upstream, uphill and upwind from the accident site.
  3. Travel at least one-half mile away from the danger zone.
  4. Warn others whom you encounter.
  5. If possible, try to cover your mouth with a towel or cloth when leaving the area.
  6. If you are in a motor vehicle, drive quickly away from the accident site, shut off your heater or air conditioner and keep your car windows and vents closed.

 

FIRES (HOME AND WILD-LAND)

It is easy to underestimate the power of a fire. In less than 30 seconds, small flames can race completely out of control, with fire room temperatures reaching 600 degrees at eye level. Before you know it, you will be surrounded. An even greater threat can come from heat and toxic gases released by the fire.

In the Coachella Valley, wild-land fires can also be very dangerous. Even though it looks like there is nothing out there to burn, there is dry fuel everywhere and a wild-land fire (or the traveling sparks from a wild-land fire) can threaten us here at Trilogy.
What to do when there is a house fire incident

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS A HOUSE FIRE INCIDENT:

  1. First, before there is a fire incident:
    • Make sure you have a home fire extinguisher near your kitchen (not near the stove which is a good place for fires to start – you want to get away from the fire then get the fire extinguisher to try to put the fire out).
    • At least yearly, make sure your smoke alarms are tested and have good batteries.
  2. If it is a small fire and you can get to your fire extinguisher, use it to put the fire out.
  3. If the fire is getting out of hand, get out as quickly as possible and have some one call 911 to report a fire. Give the correct address for the fire.
  4. Before opening any door, feel the door to determine if it is hot. If it is not, open it cautiously and stand behind the door. Be prepared to close it quickly. If you see fire under the door, find another way out of the building.
  5. Stay low to the ground, crawling if necessary, to avoid smoke and fumes.
  6. Should your clothes catch on fire, drop to the floor and roll over to smother the flames.
  7. Once you have reached a safe location, make sure 9-1-1 has been called to report a fire emergency.

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE IS A WILD-LAND FIRE INCIDENT:

  1. Listen to news reports and pack important documents and mementos for transporting if a brush fire is being monitored in our area.
  2. Follow all evacuation orders given by the authorities.
  3. Keep at least 1/2-tank of fuel in your vehicle.
  4. Ensure that your family has an agreed upon meeting location.
  5. Stay out of your home until instructed to return by the fire department or other officials.

 

EPIDEMIC OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE OR PANDEMIC

We could be impacted by an outbreak of an infectious disease here in the Coachella Valley or there could be a pandemic (from Greek ??? pan “all” + ????? demos “people”) that is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide.

A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic. There could even be an intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form.

The best preventative measures are to maintain good health and a healthy life style because germs are all around us. Easily spread from person to person, they can cause a variety of illnesses and infections. Here is information on diseases and some ways to avoid catching them or spreading them to others.
What to do when we have a epidemic or pandemic

  1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  2. Never share food, eating utensils or beverage containers with others.
  3. Keep your distance from people who are coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose.
  4. Stay home if you have a cough or fever.
  5. Discard used Kleenex tissues in the trash as soon as possible.

Some of the most common food-borne diseases are E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Calicivirus. The rare, but deadly botulism disease occurs when a certain bacteria grows and produces a powerful paralytic toxin in the food. Sometimes meat and poultry can become contaminated during the slaughtering process if it comes in contact with small amounts of intestinal content. Likewise, vegetables washed or irrigated in water tainted by animal manure or human sewage can become contaminated. An outbreak occurs when a group of people consume the same contaminated food and two or more of them contract the same illness. Approximately 76 million cases of food-borne disease occur in the U.S. annually, with 325,000 resulting hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths reported each year.Common signs of food-borne disease include high fever, prolonged vomiting, a decrease in urination, dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing up and diarrhea or bloody stools.

If you think you have a food-borne illness, contact your doctor. If you suspect the source of your sickness, you may also want to contact the restaurant or store where you purchased that particular food item.


 

TERRORISM

Is there anything in the Coachella Valley that presents itself as a potential high value terrorist target? Probably not BUT terrorist attacks do not always involve political groups or foreign enemies. It can also be the work of a single deranged mind or several individuals with no motive other than to cause the loss of innocent lives.

Events such as Columbine, the Killeen, Texas cafeteria shooting and various high profile office killings in recent years point up the fact that terrorism can spring from our own neighborhoods. Though these occurrences are very rare, the best advice is to stay alert and be prepared to act calmly, but decisively.

A terrorist may like to strike a target that has limited protection and a high probability of a successful outcome for the terrorist.

Remember, the target is not relevant to the terrorist; what is relevant is the post attack feeling of helplessness that can impact a whole population and/or the problems the attack will cause all levels of government around a successful strike.

No one really knows when or where the next terrorist strike will occur in the United States. But that doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands and say, “Why bother?” On the contrary, if you plan ahead and make special preparations for an attack, you could have a much better chance of surviving one. Here are some things you can do.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE PREPARED:

  1. Always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert.
  2. Take special precautions when traveling, especially keeping track of your luggage, reporting unusual packages in the airport and monitoring unusual behavior.
  3. Learn the locations of emergency exits in buildings that you frequent.
  4. Think ahead about your quickest escape route from buildings, subways and congested public areas… note where any staircases are located.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the operation of different types of fire extinguishers.
  6. Assemble a disaster supply kit for your home and keep it in an easily accessible place.
  7. Learn first aid, including CPR.

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