THE WAKE-UP: The county’s Emergency Management Division hasn’t been able to keep earthquake-related brochures on its shelves since the Northridge quake, says Mark Johnson, the division manager. More than 200 were requested last week. The brochures, which contain information about emergency planning, earthquake preparedness and shelters, are also available from any of the county’s 31 cities. “The quake has really gotten people to wake up,” he says.
QUAKE KITS: The rush is also on at Earthquake Preparedness Products in Santa Ana. The business normally keeps hundreds of earthquake kits in its showroom but is now down to a handful, says owner David Lebanoff. The 1992 Landers quake and the Jan. 17 Northridge quake are the only two that affected sales. “After Landers, the customers were much more frantic. They’d just point to a kit and say, ‘I’ll take that.’ They didn’t care what it was or what was in it,” Lebanoff said. “This time, people are much more interested in what they are getting and how long it will last.”
NIGHTMARE: Of all the possible nightmares on Orange County’s freeways during a quake, the worst would be if both the Riverside (91) and Orange (57) freeways were cut off at the same time, says Stan Oftelie, county transportation chief. The only alternate route to the Inland Empire, where many Orange County employees live, is the two-lane Brea Canyon Road. “Can you imagine?” Oftelie asked. “We’d have to work with L.A. to help people get to jobs.”
KIDS PREPARED: Some schools require that students bring earthquake kits at the beginning of the year. At Turtle Rock Preschool in Irvine, for example, children must bring the following in a large Ziploc plastic bag: three boxes of juice; two cans of fruit; two cans of tuna; two cracker snacks; three plastic spoons and forks; one package of baby wipes; a family photo; and a comforting letter written by a parent to a child. Says Principal Linda Christiansen: “After the Landers quake, we thought it would be a good idea.”