Los Angeles, California apartment complex is destroyed by the Northridge Earthquake, 1994, courtesy Robert A Eplett/CAL EMA
Our area, where the North American Tectonic plate is trying to slide south past the Pacific Tectonic plate, is the home of the San Andreas Fault Zone. Lake Arrowhead actually rests on the North American Plate,
while San Bernardino, Riverside and the entire Los Angeles basin are positioned south (or, if you prefer...west) of the San Andreas Fault, on the Pacific Plate. The Pacific Plate continues to inch northwest, while the North American Plate moves slowly to the southeast. In a few million years, our descendents might be able to drive up Highway 18 to visit San Francisco, as it slides past the Pacific Plate.
It’s humorous to joke about earthquakes, but a major rupture along the southern portion of the San Andreas will cause trillions of dollars worth of damage. The casualty list may be high, and you could be among them if you are not prepared.
More than any other threat, earthquakes have the greatest potential of cutting us off from the services we receive from down below. This includes not only food supplies, but the “supply” of fire, medical, and police services. If the bridges that support Highways 18 and 330 go down, or if the roadways are obliterated by landslides, then residents will be isolated either “on” or “off” the mountain, wherever they happen to be when the earthquake hits. Those who are forced to shelter in place on the mountain may be on their own for many days. Food, water, shelter, and medical supplies may be in short supply.
CERT members are preparing themselves to help and preparing to help others also. Your CERT members may have already delivered preparedness checklists and brochures to your front door, and CERT members continue to train in areas that may be needed after a major earthquake: first aid, light search and rescue, and grief counseling. Links on this page, and throughout this website will lead you to materials you can use today, to prepare for the inevitable earthquake of the future.
CERT wants you to be prepared. Until a major earthquake happens, it’s difficult to imagine what conditions will be like after the event. Homes may no longer be habitable. Food and water supplies may be disrupted for days...even weeks. Police, fire, and medical services may be limited, and will certainly be overwhelmed. It will be very important that you be able to take care of yourself and your family for at least a few days, until order can be restored. You, or members of your family may be injured or in shock. A minimal first aid kit could mean the difference between life and death.
If you have time to help, then consider becoming a CERT member. You’ll not only learn how to care for yourself, but you will be better prepared emotionally for the toll that we could face when a major quake happens.
Don’t be a victim. Don’t be part of the problem. Be part of the solution.