LOS ANGELES, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- In a bid to raise disaster preparedness in the U.S. state of California, Governor Schwarzenegger on Wednesday proclaimed September 2010 as Disaster Preparedness Month.
The move is aimed to prompt all Californians to take action now to prepare their families and communities for disasters, the governor said in a statement.
"It is vital that citizens take the proper steps to prepare for a disaster," said Schwarzenegger. "When Californians take important precautions such as making sure our homes are fire-ready or equipped to handle earthquakes, we can all be more prepared for the real harm a disaster can bring."
Many Californians have taken initial steps toward earthquake preparedness, but more than 60 percent of Californians have not done enough to make their homes safer and guard their personal finances in preparation for an inevitable, large-scale earthquake, according to a recent California Earthquake Preparedness Survey.
Fewer than 20 percent have participated in neighborhood disaster planning or have received specific disaster trainings and fewer than 50 percent have participated in disaster trainings at work, the survey showed.
"Understanding your level of risk is important, but action is required to save lives and property," said California Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen. "Every Californian should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours after a major disaster. Every Californian is an essential member of our state's emergency response team. By taking a few simple steps now, each of us can make sure we are better prepared for the next emergency or disaster."
The CEMA and CaliforniaVolunteers have provided 10 disaster preparedness tips, including the creation of a family disaster plan, and building a disaster kit for one's home and car -- with at least a three-day supply of food and water for all family members.
"We recently launched the CaliforniaVolunteers Disaster Corps to coordinate trained disaster volunteers statewide," said Secretary of Service and Volunteering Karen Baker. "We urge Californians to volunteer for local disaster preparedness efforts now before a disaster occurs. Trained disaster volunteers are a huge asset in helping neighbors and the community."