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How to Be Prepared in Any Emergency

Do you have a plan?

At first it was an unfamiliar tremble. Then full-on shaking and still people wondered: “What is happening?! Is it really … no … really? Is this an earthquake?”

 It was.

See also: Emergency! Are you really ready?

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the East Coast from New England to the Carolinas Tuesday, sending the uninitiated into the streets — pouring from office buildings, homes and schools. The epicenter was in central Virginia in the small town of Mineral, about 40 miles northwest of Richmond and 83 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.

The White House, Capitol, Pentagon and other government buildings were evacuated. Although early reports indicated no casualties, this was not an insignificant tremor: The Washington National Cathedral, the highest building in the city, suffered structural damage. The quake also left cracks in the pyramid at the top of the Washington Monument.

Regardless of the aftermath, it's clear: When it comes to natural disasters, all bets are off. There is no “safe” place. If it can happen on the East Coast, it can happen anywhere.

As with any emergency — hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, etc. — older people are the most vulnerable due to isolation and/or immobility. Will you and your loved ones be prepared when disaster strikes?

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