The best personal earthquake preparedness plan is simply to be prepared

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Two girls take cover beneath desks during The Great California ShakeOut, an annual earthquake drill, on Oct. 21, 2010 at Providence High School in Burbank.

The Southern California Catastrophic Earthquake Plan sounds a familiar warning to people in the region, as
KPCC’s Frank Stoltze reports in this installment of his series of reports on the plan.

For one emergency planner, earthquake preparedness is a moral issue.

“It is selfish and irresponsible not to prepare yourself and your family for a known risk such as an earthquake," says California Emergency Management Agency Secretary Matthew Bettenhausen.

“You are preventing our volunteers and our first responders from saving lives and property because we have to look after somebody who was so selfish and irresponsible that they didn’t plan ahead for something that we know could happen at any time.”

A new Southern California Catastrophic earthquake plan foresees what scientists say is likely and overdue: a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.

“As we come to the end of the year and people are looking at resolutions for next year, think about resolving to be ready," says FEMA's Justin Dombrowski. "Be ready for next year. Prepare yourself. Have resources available to be better prepared.”

In our next report, we’ll review the basics of earthquake preparedness.

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