L.A. Program Brings Earthquake Preparedness to Neighborhoods

A new Los Angeles initiative looks to neighborhood councils to lead disaster planning efforts that involve more residents.

July 25, 2019, 10:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

Downtown Los Angeles

Checubus / Shutterstock

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced a new program called Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood (RYLAN), an effort to encourage earthquake preparedness at the local level. The RYLAN program calls for local neighborhood councils to designate preparedness officers who can lead workshops, develop plans, and facilitate other preparedness activities.

"The initiative, detailed in a brochure on the RYLAN website, covers four aspects: search and aid; care and sheltering; communications; and utility and safety. Action items for residents include taking care of children who may be home alone, monitoring FM/AM radio stations, shutting off leaking natural gas and conducting a door-to-door safety check," reports Kira Barrett.

The goal of the RYLAN program is to engage residents who are not actively participating in disaster planning activities, notes Barrett. "Research shows that a majority of people don't participate in community-led disaster-preparedness efforts; in one study conducted in California, respondents had a 16% community engagement score when working with neighbors to prepare for disasters."

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