« Continuity of Operations Planning

Have a continuity of operations plan, even if you’re ‘used to’ natural disasters

While Californians might be used to earthquakes, an up-to-date continuity of operations plan can help ensure residents' safety.
While Californians might be used to earthquakes, an up-to-date continuity of operations plan can help ensure residents' safety.

No matter how common certain bouts of severe weather or natural disasters become, it is important for businesses and residents to ensure that they are properly prepared for numerous situations. For example, even though Californians are used to earthquakes, having a thorough and up-to-date continuity of operations plan can help save lives if the situation becomes dire.

On Monday, Southern California experienced a 4.7 magnitude earthquake, which was the largest event in the Los Angeles region for three years and has produced more than 100 aftershocks.

According to reports, the quake occurred along the San Jacinto Fault Zone, which runs through San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties, which is roughly parallel to the San Andreas Fault.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Robert Graves told the Los Angeles Times that the area is capable of generating moderate to large earthquakes, and that what happened on Monday was nothing out of the ordinary. However, the fault zone has created eight earthquakes of magnitude 6 or larger in the last century and about five earthquakes of similar size have occurred within 20 kilometers of the area within the last 20 years.

"It's a good idea to take it to heart and make sure you're prepared," Graves said. "We live in Southern California, and we have lots of active faults; and every once in awhile, it's large enough to cause damage."

Lucy Jones, also a seismologist with USGS, explained to the Associated Press that quakes of that magnitude are unlikely to do much harm to modern buildings. According to authorities, there were no reports of injuries or serious damage to the region.

With continuity of operations planning, individuals will know how to evacuate properly and if there are designated hot sites. Preparation is a necessity, regardless of how seemingly commonplace events might seem.