Eighty years ago on March 10, 1933, Long Beach was hit at 5:54pm by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake, causing an estimated $50 million in damages and 120 deaths. Following the quake, many residents had to live in tents in local parks, and they ate food provided by the National Guard. More than 90 percent of Long Beach schools were severely damaged. Students attended classes in parks and tents for the next two years.
“A lot has been learned since the 1933 earthquake, especially how residents can become prepared to survive a predicted, deadlier earthquake,” says 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske. “That’s why we have put together a forum with a number of federal, state and local experts who will help Long Beach get ready for ‘the Big One.’”
According to experts, California has a 99.7-percent chance of being devastated by a 6.7 earthquake or higher within the next 30 years. Many believe the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault would produce a magnitude 7.5 or greater if “the Big One” hits Southern California.
Schipske has organized a day-long “Ready Long Beach” public forum on Saturday, March 9 and will be joined by KCET host Val Zavala, who appears on the public-affairs program SoCal Connected and is featured on the KCET special Bracing for a Quake.
Ready Long Beach will be conducted at the El Dorado Community Center, 2800 N. Studebaker Rd. The program will start at 9am and include a brief, historic look at the 1933 Long Beach earthquake followed by presentations from experts at USGS, FEMA, Cal EMA, Long Beach Fire Department, CERT and American Red Cross. A light lunch will be included and then a “table top” exercise led by the representatives from the Long Beach Chapter of the American Red Cross to help participants prepare their neighborhoods. The forum will conclude at 2pm.
The event is open to the public. Reservations are encouraged by calling (562) 570-6932 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, so that the appropriate amount of materials and food can be ordered.
Schipske, who is a trained member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), set emergency preparedness as a priority for her council district by emailing and posting monthly “Ready Long Beach” alerts that include tips on how to get prepared for an emergency. She has also sponsored events over the past years in connection with The Great California ShakeOut, which provides an opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes.
The Great California ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage residents to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure space in order to prevent damage and injuries.
The March 9 forum is the second in a series of public meetings planned to help residents become prepared.
Source: City of LB