Yesterday’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake and subsequent after shocks that struck in Baja and rumbled through San Diego have been another reminder that just like wildfires, it’s not a case of “if,” but “when” these events take place.

North County Supervisor Bill Horn made emergency preparedness one of the focal points of his term as Board Chairman in 2006 and spoke of the resources available for residents to protect themselves.

“Through our Office of Emergency Services,” said Supervisor Horn, “we developed a comprehensive guide for families to follow and prepare themselves in the event disaster strikes. The information was printed in a guide that was mailed to every home and business in the County. I urge all residents to keep that plan handy. For new residents or people who have misplaced the guide, you can download the information by going to: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/oes/.”

In the event of an earthquake, emergency personnel stress the need to be mentally prepared and when things start shaking, to get to a safe spot, avoiding heavy or breakable items falling on you.

Supervisor Horn said, “Our disaster preparedness guide provides tips on what to do if it is necessary to shut off natural gas supplies. Once a person’s home front is stabilized, assistance can be given neighbors, especially the elderly. The first three days of any natural disaster are the most critical as emergency assistance may not be readily available. That’s why it’s important to have enough canned food, bottled water and other supplies that will sustain people for about 72 hours.”

Additional information for emergency planning is available atwww.ReadySanDiego.org and clicking on the “Family” tab. To receive emergency information or instructions during a local emergency, residents are encouraged to register their cell phones on the ReadySanDiego site for AlertSan Diego, the County’s emergency notification system.