Are You Prepared for the Next Earthquake?

Although two decades have almost passed since the Northridge earthquake, the Los Angeles County Fire Department wants to make sure residents are prepared when the next big one strikes. To that end, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is holding free community emergency response team training (CERT) classes throughout the county to teach basic training in safety and lifesaving skills.

Because earthquakes strike without notice, it’s important for Southern California residents to know what to do when the ground starts shaking. The 6.7 magnitude Northridge quake lasted a matter of seconds but resulted in dozens of deaths, miles of damaged streets, flattened buildings and the collapse of freeways.  The 10-second temblor, which struck at 4:31 a.m., was triggered by a fault that squeezed the northern San Fernando Valley between two mountain ranges.  In fire department classes, participants learn CPR, bandaging techniques and basic first aid.

The next upcoming classes will run from September 28  to November.

September 28
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sorenson Park – Gymnasium
16801 East Ave P
Lake Los Angeles, CA

October 4
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Claremont Colleges
150 Eighth Street.
Claremont, CA 91711

October 5
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cerritos Sheriff’s Station
Community Safety Center
18125 Bloomfield Ave
Cerritos, CA

October 5
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
City of Lynwood Senior Center
11331 Ernestine Avenue
Lynwood, CA 90262

November 2
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Artesia Park (Community Center)
18750 Clarkdale Ave,
Artesia, CA

Los Angeles County Fire is also spreading the word about earthquake preparedness via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.  For additional earthquake safety tips from Los Angeles County Fire, or to sign up for the emergency response team training classes, visit their website at or call the LA. County Community Service Liaison Laura Walters (310) 217-7074.

Here are county fire’s earthquake safety tips:

* Drop down onto your hands and knees before the earthquake knocks you down.

* Cover your head and neck – and your entire body if possible – under a sturdy table or desk.

* If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall or low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.

* Hold onto your shelter until the shaking stops.  Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.