Earthquakes have the potential to cause significant problems for communities, it is important to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Los Angeles wakes up to earthquake during Business Continuity Awareness Week

Between March 17 through 21, communities and companies are learning about the benefits of business continuity planning. Whether an area is prone to specific weather events or not, it is pertinent that business owners are prepared to respond to any situation.

This year's theme is "counting the cost" of not having a business continuity strategy. Even though company-wide interruptions are uncommon, knowing what your role(s) are before, during and after a situation can show constituents that the company, city or town is able to adjust accordingly.

California for example, is well-aware of its sensitivity to earthquakes and other seismic activity. Much of the state is along the San Andreas fault, but such incidents have been less frequent since the 1980s and 1990s, Fox News reported.

On Monday morning, residents of the areas surrounding Los Angeles, including Orange and Ventura counties, woke up at 6:25 a.m. to an earthquake that occurred at a depth of 5 miles with a 4.4 magnitude on the Richter scale and aftershocks of 2.7 magnitude. CNN explained that quakes that reach at 5.5 or higher on the Richter scale are usually the ones to worry about, but it could be a "rude awakening" for the metropolitan area.

"It's not that large by California terms. It's the size of earthquake we have across the state once every couple of months," Lucy Jones,a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, told a local ABC affiliate. "But we haven't had one like this in L.A. for quite a while."

California communities that have not taken a look at their response strategies for earthquakes may want to consider reevaluating their plans because such an event may happen again in the near future. Business continuity consultants can help provide advice on what is the most effective course of action.