When a powerful earthquake strikes, be it in Whittier, Armenia or the Bay Area, it sets Los Angeles residents to thinking.
"Any time there is a quake anywhere," says Vickie Sanders, a spokeswoman for Vons, "we notice a slight increase the next few days in sales of bottled water, canned good and safety items such as flashlights, batteries and medical supplies."
Unfortunately, such forward thinking is short-lived.
"It usually isn't an overwhelming rush," Sanders says, "and it usually doesn't last more than a couple days."
Following is a list of reminders of what to do to cope with earthquakes:
Prepare supplies, including:
* Flashlights with spare batteries.
* A first aid kit and instructional handbook.
* Portable radios with extra batteries.
* Fire extinguishers.
* Airtight containers of water and purification tablets or liquid chlorine bleach to disinfect water.
* A supply of canned or dehydrated foods, powdered milk, juices and nutritional food items that do not require water for preparation.
* A manually-operated can opener.
* A barbecue, camp stove or other alternate means of cooking.
* Plastic trash bags.
* Bathroom items including toothpaste, toilet paper and soap.
* A pipe wrench and crescent wrench for turning off gas and water mains.
Prepare plans, including:
* How to shut off electricity, water heaters, water mains and gas. (Do not, however, shut off the gas unless you suspect a leak or can smell escaping gas).
* How to purify water.
* Where to reunite your family.
* The safest places to take cover in your dwelling.
During the earthquake:
* If indoors, stay there. Duck under a desk or table. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces and heavy appliances.
* If outside, get into the open. Stay away from buildings, trees and power lines.
* If in a car, pull to the side of the road. Stay away from overpasses, bridges or power lines.
For further information, the front section of telephone directories includes a survival guide with first aid information for earthquakes and other emergencies.