The Los Angeles County region is subject to various destructive emergencies and/or disasters including earthquakes, floods, landslides, wild fires, tornadoes, urban fires, tsunamis, hazardous material releases, terrorism, and civil unrest. Emergency situations become disasters when they overwhelm the resources that are there to protect our community. In a disaster, County departments and first responders will do everything possible to save and protect lives, property and the environment. However, large disasters may completely overwhelm law enforcement and fire personnel as they will be responding to multiple incidents with multiple incidents and competing public safety needs. First responders will need to focus their efforts in the areas where they can do the most good, helping severely endangered people and heavily impacted areas first. It is possible, even likely, that some areas may not get professional assistance for days after a disaster has occurred.

There are steps you can take to help ensure you, your family and loved ones are resilient and ready for a disaster. The first step is to make plans with your family, friends and neighborhood to stay safe, connected and help others. Use the information in this section to learn more.

Quick Tip: Disaster Facts

Major earthquakes have occurred in Southern California causing damage in Los Angeles County in 1933, 1971, 1987 and 1994. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Los Angeles Region has the following probabilities for earthquakes over a magnitude 6.7 within the next 30 years:

    • 60% probability for an earthquake measuring magnitude 6.7
    • 46% probability for an earthquake measuring magnitude 7.0
    • 31% probability for an earthquake measuring magnitude 7.5

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