SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Scientists say Southern California is 60 years overdue for a major earthquake.
The new information has the U.S. Geological Survey reminding the public and government leaders to have emergency plans ready at home and at work.
The subsoil testing revealed a sizeable quake has occurred once on the average of every 100 years in an area north of Los Angeles. It's now 60 years beyond that mark.
Noted physicist Michio Kaku spoke on CBS News saying, "we can now quantify this and we now know the San Andreas fault is now locked, loaded and ready to rumble."
He went on to say the bigger quake would shake the epicenter and beyond for more than "... a few seconds like the Northridge earthquake. We are talking about a quake that lasts for minutes."
Roberto Castellanos was in downtown Santa Barbara where walls on many buildings have been reinforced. He remember the Whittier and Northridge quakes, saying the hallways in his house were swaying by the force.
The brick buildings on State Street in Santa Barbara do show areas where braces and support straps have been added to keep them together if the ground moves. That was a special requirement more than 20 years ago.
A local worker and resident, Ronnie Redd says, "I have an emergency prep kit all the time now.. Water, canned food a bunsen burner." He said it is a three day supply.
The Santa Barbara County Emergency Services Director Robert Lewin says there are many ways residents can prepare for themselves, their families, and co workers. "When you are in your work space or your home look around and say 'if there were an earthquake about to occur what would happen? Is this room as safe as it could be.'"
He urged residents to sign up for alerts on the Award and Prepare web page.