Workshops create a disaster-ready community

emergency+food

Curtis explains that storing drinking water is the most important thing during an earthquake. "You can buy water bags at any local first aid store... they last up to five years and the taste is no different than bottled water," said Curtis. Photo credit: Yomira Saiqui

Gina Park

CSUN holds workshops in light of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck the San Fernando Valley that displaced 20,000 people from their homes and led to the deaths of 16 people 24 years ago.

In light of the 1994 Northridge earthquake that cost CSUN approximately $400 million in damages, CSUN holds six workshops on earthquake awareness and preparation per semester. They are held routinely by the Department of Police Services for students and faculty to learn from.

CSUN Emergency Manager
Lisa P. Curtis, CSUN Emergency Manager explains the importance of keeping a first aid backpack in case of a sudden earthquake. Photo credit: Yomira Saiqui

“With an earthquake, we don’t get advanced notice,” said Emergency Manager Lisa Curtis. “All we can do is prepare for the inevitable. It will happen — we just don’t know when.”

There are three workshops left through October to the end of November that cover a range of topics from fire and building safety to material preparation. Two upcoming workshops held in October will comprise of a live demonstration of essential emergency items by Curtis, which include emergency food, water packs, portable radios and flashlight devices.

First Step
The first step in becoming informed and aware of an earthquake is to prevent and predict. It may occur at any time of day or night. Getting a kit is the key to preparedness, as there are many ways to stay informed. "Here at CSUN workshops are at no cost," said Curtis. Photo credit: Yomira Saiqui

Attendees will learn the steps of creating and using personal, bedside, family, car, office and even pet kits for upcoming earthquakes based on their distinct needs. Issues of safety, hygiene, networking, expiration dates and more will also be covered to ensure all-around preparation.

Personal First Aid Kit Backpack
It is a good idea to prepare another first aid kit bag filled with personal things such as water bottles, canned food, shoes, and personal hygiene elements. Photo credit: Yomira Saiqui
The Essential Necessities
A first aid backpack should always contain three elements: a first aid kit with medicine, personal bag with hygiene things such as soap or sanitizer that will prevent any type of disease. A protection bag with things such as a mouth cap, lamp, candles that will protect at night. Photo credit: Yomira Saiqui

“The stronger we as individuals can be prepared and informed, the stronger our CSUN community can be to not only respond, but also recover and come together as a community to rebuild, hopefully even better than before,” Curtis said.

The free workshops equip Matadors for the unexpected disasters, while also recommending inexpensive items to create the personal kits.

“It shouldn’t have to cost people a lot of money to take care of themselves,” said Curtis. “You can build it gradually, but start today.”

Students and faculty can register through the Emergency Management and Preparedness department’s official website, where links will transfer users to Google Forms applications. Additional resources can also be found here.