Surviving the Big One

April 15, 2000

Robert Blechl

GRIFFITH PARK -- Melissa Sherrills said she was better equipped for

the next Southern California shaker after attending the Emergency

Preparedness Fair.

"I'm going to have an escape plan so I can meet with my parents and

keep it somewhere so I can see it and memorize it," said Melissa, a

third-grader at West Athens Elementary School in Los Angeles.


The ninth annual Emergency Preparedness Fair, which began Friday in

the Los Angeles Zoo parking lot, features more than 200 private and

public agencies teaching people how to remain safe after a major

earthquake. Vendors are also on hand selling safety items and first-aid


Recruiting members and offering safety tips were volunteers from the

400-member Burbank Community Disaster Volunteer organization, which

augments disaster help when city resources are overwhelmed.

This is the organization's fourth year of participating in the fair.

Rich Baenen, emergency services coordinator for the Burbank Fire

Department, said in order to help others after an earthquake people must

first take care of themselves.

"A community is organized in concentric circles," Baenen said.

"There's you, your family, the neighborhood and the community. To help

the community you first have to help yourself."

WHAT: Ninth Annual Emergency Preparedness Fair.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday.

WHERE: Los Angeles Zoo parking lot, Griffith Park.

INFO: Call (888) 356-4661 or visit For

information on Burbank Community Disaster Volunteer, call 238-3491.

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