City of Malibu public safety specialist offers earthquake preparedness training

City of Malibu Public Safety Specialist Sarah Kaplan (left) demonstrates how to cover underneath a table during an earthquake with participants Dick Hinson and Ron Wallingford on Monday, Sept. 19, at Malibu City Hall. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT. 

To continue the ongoing National Preparedness month of events and workshops, the City of Malibu offered free Earthquake Preparedness and Home Hazards Training on Monday, Sept. 19, to help ensure every home is as safe as possible in an earthquake 

City of Malibu Emergency Services Coordinator Sarah Kaplan taught the workshop, and although only two people attended, she said the workshop went well.

“Presentation was great; I am happy that we had two people come and we were able to talk about earthquakes and get prepared and ask those questions one-on-one,” Kaplan said. “I’m just happy to have people and people were listening.”

Kaplan shared resources, tips on being prepared, and ways to secure your home in case of an emergency.

As for tsunamis, Kaplan said the impact in Malibu would be moderately minimal but to be safe, walk uphill and inland in case of a tsunami.

“Be prepared for potential aftershocks,” Kaplan said. “If there’s an earthquake, take the things that matter: Take your purse; your children and your family, take them. Lleave the cooler, leave the beach towel, leave the toys, it does not matter — you can buy more.”

Receiving notifications are also important. Kaplan recommends signing up for city alerts from communities you are in more frequently and having contacts from family members not in the area. Kaplan said memorizing or having a print copy of family members’ numbers and addresses in case of losing a battery or cellphone reception can also be helpful. 

As for creating a stay kit, Kaplan said to make sure each family member has enough food and water to last two or three weeks, and one gallon per person per day. 

Securing decorations and heavy objects can also prevent injuries. Moving heavy or large items to lower shelves and securing items with putty can prevent them from falling and leaving broken glass. 

The Malibu Foundation is hosting a free emergency preparedness event for seniors in the community on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Senior Center at Malibu City Hall. There will be giveaways for attendees, including FEMA-approved emergency go-bags. Complementary lunch will be included. For more information, call (310) 456-2489, ext. 357. No RSVP required. 

All of Malibu’s National Preparedness Month event descriptions, schedules, signups, and other information are posted on the city website at

The article was update on Tues, Sept. 27 to correct Sarah Kaplan’s title.