The road to recovery and rebuilding has begun after the 6.0 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks shook Napa, California last weekend. At least 240 patients have been treated for injuries, and 100 structures were red-tagged, which means they are uninhabitable. Six homes were destroyed by fire.
Living here in California, we are well aware of the reality of earthquakes. We know they can happen at any moment. Their unpredictability can be unnerving, and there is not much we can do to prevent it. We can only be prepared, and the importance of having a survival plan and emergency supplies ready cannot be overemphasized.
Beyond having an emergency kit, however, we need to have a solid human network. Watching footage of the earthquake’s aftermath, like other disasters, underscored the importance of supportive neighbors. One store owner said he was able to reopen 2 days later with the help of customers who volunteered with the clean-up.
It reminded me of how important it is to have good neighbors. It pays to be kind to your neighbors. You may need them one day. As Inglewood continues to grow into a destination city, we don’t ever want to lose the humanity of our city. Having compassion for your neighbors, showing respect and human kindness toward others in your community must be a top priority. The human investment is one that will pay for itself many times over.
During emergency situations, friendships are tested. These situations bring out the best and worst in people. If you find yourself in a situation where you had to depend on your neighbors to survive, who could you count on? Who could count on you?
Every time an earthquake, wildfire or other disaster occurs, it is a reminder that we need to “have our house in order.” We need to be ready for whatever comes. But just like investing in extra batteries, blankets and portable radios is important, we must also invest in our relationships. Helping an elderly neighbor, supporting your local little league team, even greeting people on your block is an investment that can pay off in the future.
People remember these little acts of kindness and they become extremely valuable when we are faced with emergency situations. The bottom line is, people are more prone to want to help those who are nice to them.
Now is a perfect time to check your emergency supplies and discuss survival strategies with your family. And while you’re at it, connect with your block clubs and elected officials to see if there are any resources you may have overlooked.
While no one can prevent an earthquake from happening, having a supportive network in place will make survival and recovery a lot smoother and quicker. Is Inglewood ready for an earthquake? If we prepare now, the answer is yes.