<< I gave my room a 'quake-over'

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I care more than my mom does

A couple years after the 1994 Northridge earthquake I had an earthquake-preparedness class. We learned things like having a specific spot to meet after a quake and having emergency supplies. I was worried. What if an earthquake did happen? I wanted to know what I should do. I brought these concerns to my mother. After I told her, she laughed at me, patted me on the back and told me, "Marvin, if there is ever an earthquake, just run out of the house and hope for the best."

After that, I didn’t bring it up again. Last spring when a research team predicted that there was going to be a strong earthquake this year, I started wondering, "Should we have a plan?" Although it isn’t something my family worries about, what if there is another strong earthquake? I believe it’s good to have a plan because you never know when you might need one. All it takes is one simple mistake to lose or save a life in a natural disaster.
—By Marvin Novelo, 17, Franklin HS

We are super ready for the next quake

Our house was damaged fairly badly during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The foundation was weakened, our chimney fell down and one of the walls in front of our house had to be taken out. Afterwards, my family realized that we had to pay more attention to earthquake safety. My mom, especially, was concerned. Since then, we’ve tried to take some basic, but important precautions, like making sure furniture is earthquake safe by securing heavier items to the walls and placing smaller items in locations where they won’t easily fall. We each keep a flashlight and shoes where we can find them easily and have an earthquake kit containing things such as food and water, first-aid materials and a radio to get infomation during an emergency. We also keep a list of contact numbers, including the one for my god-family in New York, in case we can’t reach anyone inside California. I sometimes tend to take earthquakes too nonchalantly, but it’s reassuring to know that we have some plans.
—By Ariel Edwards-Levy, 15, North Hollywood HS