earthquake-thumb1Given the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti and the 6.5 quake in Northern California this week, the Big Bear City Fire Department reminds Valley residents to check disaster preparedness plans and supplies, as we never know when a big quake (such as the 6.4 magnitude tremor we had in June 1992) will strike; in fact, just this morning, we had a 1.2 magnitude quake just outside Big Bear Lake (at 6:33am), and a 1.7 in Running Springs. Before an earthquake rattles Big Bear, the fire department reminds residents to check for hazards in your home. Tips include fastening shelves securely to walls; place large or heavy objects on lower shelves; store breakable items (such as bottled foods, glass and china) in low, closed cabinets with latches; brace overhead light fixtures; and hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit. When an earthquake does strike, take cover under a piece of heavy furniture, or against an inside wall, and hold on and stay inside; standing inside a doorway is no longer recommended. If outdoors, move into the open, away from buildings, streetlights, utility wires and trees, and stay in the open until the shaking stops. Bear City Fire also recommends that each family member know how to turn off gas, electricity and water, and teach children how and when to call 911. Disaster supplies on hand should include flashlights and batteries; a portable, battery-operated radio; a first aid kit; and emergency food and water. In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (which is a likely possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster. For more earthquake preparedness tips, you can visit