Are You Prepared for the Next Earthquake?

Are you prepared for the next earthquake, or other natural disaster?

Yesterday morning, I attended an emergency preparedness workshop at our local Community Center. About forty leaders from local churches and non profits came together to learn how we can partner in time of disaster.

Whether an earthquake, flood, fire, or terrorist attack, there’s a good chance we’ll face at least one major disaster in our lifetime. God doesn’t want us to panic, but he does want us to prepare. (Remember how Joseph prepared Egypt for a devastating 7-year famine).

A few of our church members were around back in 1992 for the Landers earthquake, a magnitude 7.3. To this day, you can see where the earth shifted along Reche Rd. If an event of this scale (or larger) ever struck in a more urban area of Southern California in the middle of the day, it could result in thousands of lost lives; downed power, gas, and water lines; crippled freeways and railways; lost communication; and billions of dollars in damage. The high desert could be isolated for days, or even weeks.

Yesterday, Cheryl Nagy from the San Bernardino County Fire/Office of Emergency Services visited Yucca Valley and gave an excellent presentation. It was just an introduction, but she conveyed the importance of emergency preparedness, and the benefits of creating a local network here in the Morongo Basin. We learned about the four phases of an Emergency: Prepare, Respond, Recover, and Mitigate. It was the first of what we hope will become a basin-wide movement to prepare for disaster.

What can you do? Well, as the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If you don’t have one already, please create a 72 hour Emergency Kit for your family. Start stocking basic supplies over the next couple months, and keep a small kit in your car. Here is a sample list and downloadable checklist from FEMA. Lord willing, you’ll never need it. But better to be prepared, than to suddenly realize it’s too late.

You should also consider adding earthquake coverage to your Homeowner’s Insurance policy. My family had been without earthquake insurance for years. But after taking Dave Ramsey’s course and evaluating our insurance needs, we did some research and discovered a policy with Geico would only set us back about 50 bucks a month.  That’s a small price to pay compared to the risk of bankruptcy in one minute of disaster.

Wow, how’s that for an encouraging post? If I could leave you with one positive thought, it is that God is control — even over natural disasters. Psalm 135:7 says, “He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightning for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.” God is still personally involved in his creation. No wonder they used to call natural disasters “acts of God.”

Pray for God’s protection, take preventative measures, then live every day as a gift from God, free of worry, knowing God is on his throne!

Photo credit: Brian Lopez