Quake Prep Tips for Angelenos With Disabilities

Posted: October 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

"OK/Help" Signs Could Save Time, Lives in Quake Aftermath

Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones says future earthquakes in California are inescapable, but safety officials say what can be controlled is how Angelenos and first responders communicate in the aftermath of the Big One. About 50,000 signs with the word OK on one side and HELP on the other were distributed across the San Fernando Valley on Monday in an effort to get aid where its needed in case of an emergency. Officials say the latest method could save time and lives. Stephanie Elam reports from Chatsworth for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2012.

Nine years ago, Deserie Ortiz suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash. Now, she works with disabled youth and admits she needs to better prepare herself for the Big One, the massive earthquake experts predict will strike Southern California sooner rather than later.

I know you are supposed to drop, cover and hold on and things like that but if I drop on the floor, I'm not going to be able to get back up on my wheelchair, Ortiz said.

I just have to do it now. Especially since I am an advocate of my own life and I'm an advocate for others, I need to be an example, she said.

MORE:"OK/Help"Earthquake Safety Initiative | Quake Maps, Apps and Pets Preps

For the wheel-chair bound, safety officials advise dropping, covering and holding on the best way they can modified instructions with the same urgency.

They should lock the wheelchair in place so that it does not move, said Jeff Reeb, access and functional needs coordinator for LA County Office of Emergency Management.

If residents are in bed when an earthquake hits, experts advise to use the linens, bedding and paddings to their advantage.

I didn't know what I was going to do but I did stay on my bed and that I was not going to move until I felt secure to get on to my wheelchair, Ortiz said.

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Quake Prep Tips for Angelenos With Disabilities

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