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Fire Department Advises Community Emergency Teams to be Prepared for a Possible Earthquake

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You can't predict an earthquake, but there's been a certain amount of buzz around city hall water coolers this week regarding a plethora of minor and moderate tremblers taking place around Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea, 150 miles east of Los Angeles at the tip of the San Andreas fault. News headlines told of 42 quakes over the weekend through Monday and there's been 31 today alone as of 7 p.m.

Possibly taking advantage of current events to get people more prepared, LA Fire Department Captain Stacy Gerlich, Unit Commander for the volunteer based Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), issued this advisory e-mail shortly after 6 p.m. tonight:

Due to a recent earthquake swarm near Bombay Beach in the Salton Sea area, we are asking that all CERT members make sure that their ready bags are deployable should the need arise. Please understand that this is NOT an ALERT! Should something change, you will be notified through the automated system or via email.

Gerlich could not be immediately reached by phone, but LAFD Spokesman Brian Humphrey said there currently is no mobilization of resources or recall of members.

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Southern California's most noted earthquake expert Lucy Jones has a more zen like approach to these kind of situations: "When you have a lot earthquakes, you have a lot of earthquakes," she is often heard saying.

Humphrey said this is as good of a time as anytime to get prepared. "It's yet another reminder that mother nature is in charge and that we should take reasonable precaution to prepare for her periodic fury," he remarked.

At the very least, make sure you have at least ten gallons of water stored at all times (don't forget some for your pets, too!). Better yet, get trained with CERT. It's free and the knowledge is some of the most valuable you can have as a resident Southern Californian. For more immediate information, the LAFD's homepage has a drop down menu of disaster preparedness information that you peruse at your leisure.