Early this year Northeast Philadelphia had a couple of disasters. In March a faulty furnace caused a huge explosion, resulting in a PGW worker being killed. Then came a minor earthquake at the end of May, yes an earthquake. Who knew that Philadelphia was prone to tremors? Ready PA did, and they have started a new campaign aimed at getting the state ready for any kind of disaster whether it is natural or manmade.
Apparently the Philadelphia region is susceptible to earthquake tremors. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, early accounts (late 1730s) of earthquakes occurring outside of Pennsylvania had nonetheless been felt here. However, the earliest known quake actually recorded in the Philadelphia area occurred on November 11 and 14, 1840; it is said that the Delaware River swelled. The 1950s and 1960s saw the most frequency and intensity; the last quake occurred in the 1970s, until now. A loud boom was heard in Northeast Philadelphia on May 28, 2011. It was determined to be an earthquake registering 1.7. People thought it was another gas explosion and reported it right away. Since then we have had another minor earthquake.
The earthquake that occurred in May coupled with all the flooding rains and broken levees from the spring; and nowadays brush fires, may be the reason Pennsylvania has launched its newest campaign Ready PA.
Pennsylvania is asking all families to develop their own emergency plan. The Ready PA website will take you through a 3-step process to help you and your family.
- Be aware of your environment. Although the local news can be a bit depressing, try to watch the first 15 minutes of the broadcast. This is when the most important topics are discussed, especially weather updates, health issues, and political upheaval.
- Make a plan. Develop a plan that will help you protect your home and your cars. Make sure to have an updated emergency contact list. Get an emergency kit for your home. This kit should contain items you will need in the event of a power outage (candles, flashlights, battery-operated radio). Most drivers have an emergency kit for their vehicles; make sure yours has operable working parts.
- Stay in contact with your community leaders. Neighborhood watch groups are usually comprised of retired senior citizens. These people are more likely to be aware of the community when parents are working. Block captains are also a good source of emergency preparedness. They know which local government officials to go to for help.
For more information about Ready PA, visit http://www.readypa.org.