San Bernardino, CA, March 25, 2011, 2:30pm - Would you be able to ride it out if an earthquake hit today? San Bernardino County Fire urges residents to be prepared in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. The old saying it takes something drastic to happen to make us take notice is more prevalent than ever these days. Recent natural disasters such as the devastating earthquake in Japan, underscore the importance of individual preparedness. California’s Emergency Management System is the envy of the country. Even so, volunteers from programs like CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) may have to provide help until first responders can arrive. No single city or county can meet all the needs of its residents and businesses in a catastrophic situation. California is the leader in developing and using seismic building codes. However, earthquakes will happen and damage will occur. There is no such thing as “earthquake proof”. According to the California Emergency Management Agency, most residents of California will not be killed or injured by the next earthquake, but they will be inconvenienced by damage to freeways, utility grids, and the telephone system. It is up to every individual, family and business to take the earthquake threat seriously and be ready. If you are ready, you will be a resource to your family and community. What we do now, before a major earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after the earthquake. Now is the time to prepare. Residents should be familiar with their Family Disaster Plan, evacuation routes and should have emergency supplies. Residents can download a copy of the Family Disaster Plan, and other earthquake preparedness tips from www.sbcfire.org/oes. Information on how to become a CERT member can also be found at the site.