After the devastation of the Northridge earthquake, Southern California residents have been living on edge for the “Big One” coming.

The 1994 disaster left many without homes, jobs, or education institutions. There were 57 fatalities, and many health concerns left over.

This leaves many residents with the question: When will this happen again?

Instructional Lab Technician of Earth Science, Carly Perl, explains how referring to a fault line’s recurrence interval can tell us just that based off the frequency of the event.

“If you were to look at the recurrence interval of our San Andreas fault, we are overdue for a big one,” Perl describes.

Some early alert systems are set in place for the average person to know just when an earthquake is headed in their area.

The Shake Alert LA app, created by the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Eric Garcetti, provides updates on tremors and when exactly to feel the shaking.

The Shake Alert LA app gives different resources on when to look out for an earthquakes.

The app also gives insight on past earthquakes, and useful tools in creating a personal earthquake kit.

Eric Harnish, Vice President of Public Information, says COC’s emergency plans are comprehensive and capable of covering a wide variety of incidents.

“I think the college is prepared for a variety of campus emergencies, including earthquakes,” Harnish said.

In the case of a disaster, evacuation posters are inside each COC classroom, and earthquake drills are practiced regularly.

The campus also has an Incident Command Team that includes 40 administrators who have all had 40 hours of CERT training, and Red Cross CPR certification.

The Incident Command Team would be the first responders to a disastrous event on campus, providing students and staff with food, water and first aid supply.

Students can participate in The Great California Shakeout Day every October 27th where several communities, schools and organizations com together in practicing earthquake drills.

For information on an earthquake response on campus and off, visit or

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