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Preparing for Quakes and Other Disasters


The recent earthquakes serve as a vivid reminder of the importance of being prepared for an emergency.

Here are some disaster-preparation tips for an emergency at Cedars-Sinai, at home or on the road:

Make a plan:

  • At Cedars-Sinai, review your department's disaster plan in the red Fire Disaster or Emergency Operations and Business Continuity Plan binder. What is expected of you and your department during a disaster?
  • Create a communications plan for your family. Include an out-of-state contact. Try texting if you cannot get a call to go through. A customizable wallet card plan is available on Safety Net or in CS-Aware's library.
  • Set meeting places ahead of time. If you can’t communicate, know where to look for your loved ones.
  • Have evacuation routes identified. Multiple routes give you options to adapt to the crisis.
  • If you have children, know the school's emergency plan and what is expected of you.
  • Keep copies of important documents in a safe place. Consider storing electronic copies in the cloud or emailing them to yourself. Consider backing up important photos to the cloud.
  • See additional planning information in the Staying Safe Where the Earth Shakes guide, on the Safety Net or at gov/make-a-plan.

Get a kit:

  • At Cedars-Sinai, we have emergency supplies to continue to care for our patients. We also have basic supplies to assist our employees during an emergency.
  • Consider keeping a personal emergency kit at work, in your car and at home. Include personal medications, hygiene items, a change of clothing and supplemental, nonperishable food.
  • Keep a pair of comfortable shoes at work. You may have to walk on uneven surfaces and up/down stairs.
  • You can make your own kit or buy a ready-made kit. An internet search for emergency kits will show local vendors where you can buy a kit in-store, and there are many online options.
  • Water is a key component of your emergency kit. At home, plan to have 1 gallon per person per day. Plan for a minimum of three days, but a week is better if possible. Keep some water in your car.
  • Consider purchasing a backup battery and/or solar charger for your phone.
  • See additional kit information on the Safety Net or at gov/build-a-kit.

Stay informed:

  • At Cedars-Sinai, we use a mass-notification system called Everbridge to send important information during an emergency. You will soon have the opportunity to update your contact information in the system.
  • After the initial Everbridge message, and when the command center is opened, updates will be posted on CS-Aware. Go to csmc.edu.
  • Add the site to your favorites. Log in using your Cedars-Sinai email address and password. From off-site, you must use Okta. On mobile devices, look for the “Announcements” tab.
  • On the right side of the CS-Aware home page, there are links to sources of information from our community emergency-management and response agencies.
  • Listen to the radio, watch TV or check news sources online for event updates. Especially online, consider the source of information to determine whether it is accurate and truthful. As part of your emergency kit, it is helpful to have a battery-powered portable radio to receive news updates. Cedars-Sinai may also put out messages to employees on our website and social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

During an earthquake:

  • Drop, cover and hold on!
  • If you are in bed, stay there and protect your head. If you are driving, safely pull to the side of the road and stop (not on or under bridges). If there is nothing to seek cover under, drop to the ground and protect your head with your arms.
  • Do not run outside. Hazards such as falling glass, power lines and trees all can cause injury. You are safer practicing “Drop, cover and hold on.”
  • Do not head for the doorway. In modern buildings, doorways are no stronger than any other parts of the building and usually have doors that will swing and can injure you.
  • Expect aftershocks!

Reach out to Emergency Management in the Safety Office for help updating your department's disaster plan. If you have any questions, email disaster@cshs.org or call 310-423-4336.

NoteThe new earthquake early-warning system was not triggered by the recent quakes. The medical center's system is designed to initiate only starting at a "moderate" level of shaking. The recent earthquakes only produced a "weak" level of shaking at the medical center. We are reevaluating the threshold for activating our system and may alter our threshold in the future. To find out more about the early-warning system at Cedars-Sinai, visit the Safety Net or CS-Aware's library. To download the app, visit the city's website.