Every fall, the College Staff Guild meets to address on-the-job and political issues in the Los Angeles community colleges. This year, more than 200 members of AFT Local 1521A took on another challenge: disaster preparedness.

Fifty survival packs were raffled, members heard from preparedness experts at the Red Cross and they committed to work with their campus emergency response committees as part of shared governance.

And what do the experts say? Being prepared when trouble hits greatly raises the odds of survival. Here are three easy steps to take now:

  • Keep a pair of shoes by your bed. Cut feet were the second-most common injury in the Northridge earthquake.
  • Store one gallon of water per person per day. A family of four, for example, will need 28 gallons for seven days.
  • Memorize the phone number of a trusted person in another state to report your location and condition during an emergency.