SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria leaders say now is the time to prepare for an earthquake. The region's fault lines put the Santa Maria Valley in seismic zone 4, which means it could be prone to a big shake up.
"Santa Maria Valley is earthquake country," said City of Santa Maria spokesman, Mark van de Kamp. "There's been large earthquakes in the region in the last century and there will be again."
"Being prepared is the number one key to staying alive and providing for your family," said Thomas Crakes, Battalion Chief at Santa Maria Fire.
As Central Coast residents are still shaking off the two quakes hitting California last week, Van de Kamp says the valley could be in for a big one too.
"Santa Maria Valley has the Santa Maria fault, the Santa Maria River fault, the Casmelia fault, the Bradley Canyon fault, the Foxen canyon fault, and then there's the Santa Ynez fault that's south of us."
First responders remind resident to not stress, just plan ahead.
"Remember minimum is 1 gallon of water, per person, per day, and go for at least three days," said Crakes. "Pack battery powered radios, or wind up radios, wind up flashlights."
"Understand that the phone lines may not work, cellphones may not work, ATMs may be down," said Van de Kamp.
Have a bag with extra clothing, some cash, prescriptions, and food.
"Just like the earthquake last week, there were simultaneously five structure fires fully evolved. There's no way that we could –a city our size, with only five engines, could get to everybody," said Crakes.
Experts also say some buildings may be at higher risk than others.
"A lot of our houses in town are well over 50 years old, 60 years old. Some of those buildings, they could be prone to move in their foundations," said Van de Kamp.
Find the best part in your house to go for cover.
"Usually it's a bathroom or a closet 'cause the walls are short and close together and that's more wood per squared foot and it won't come apart as easy," said Crakes.
You can also sign up for notifications through the Aware and Prepare service.
Other emergency information can be found here.