Is Los Angeles Prepared For 'The Big One'? (POLL, VIDEO)

06/06/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

For many, this week's earthquake in Mexicali served as a reminder that Southern California is long overdue for a major quake. But are we ready?

The NY Times reports that most California households are woefully unprepared for a big quake that many seismologists view as as inevitable:

Seismologists say a major earthquake is almost a certainty in coming decades, given the region's seismic history. But a recent study by the California Emergency Management Agency found the majority of the state's households failing to meet recommendations for many basic emergency needs, like stockpiling water (a minimum of three gallons per person), reinforcing their homes and making disaster plans.

Such warnings had increased in urgency even before Sunday's earthquake, which caused aftershocks on Monday in Mexico as well as in the California counties on the border. In a statement issued with its March 5 report, Mathew Bettenhausen, secretary of the Emergency Management Agency, said the recent deadly quakes in Haiti and Chile were "unwelcome reminders" of what could happen in California.

Budget challenges and mandatory furloughs for emergency workers have put a further strain on the state's readiness.

The LA Times has a comprehensive earthquake preparedness guide here.

In the event of a major quake, where is the safest place to be? WATCH this video from KTLA


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