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In the event of a major emergency, such as a large earthquake, the professional first-responders, as good as they are, will be overwhelmed. This is one of the reasons that CERT — Community Emergency Response Team — was developed in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

The Neighborhood Team Program is intended to bring this concept down to the neighborhood level — Neighbors Helping Neighbors — how your neighborhood can be prepared so that everything is as okay as possible in an emergency. It could be something such as a major accident or a fire: First call 9-1-1, but then there are ways that we can help each other.

First make sure that you and your family are prepared. See the Resources page here for some of this information. And learn what to do Before, During and After an earthquake.

And then you can organize your neighborhood to be ready to help each other. One way to do this is using the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department's easy 5-Step Plan. Read how one neighborhood did it here.



A recent forecast from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says that the risk of a mega-quake is more likely than previously thought:
The chance of a magnitude-8 quake somewhere in California in the next 30 years is 7%,
up from their previous estimate of 4.7%. The new report takes into account newly discovered fault zones and the possibility that a quake can jump from fault to fault.

While they can't be sure where the next big earthquake will strike in California, consider that the southern segment of the San Andreas Fault — which runs from central California to the Salton Sea — remains a great threat since it hasn't ruptured in more than 300 years.

And even somewhat “smaller” earthquakes are extremely likely in the next 30 years. They say that the odds of a magniturde-7 earthquake in the next 30 years is 93%. And the chances of a 6.7 quake — the same size as the 1994 Northridge earthquake — is 99%.