An Earthquake Hits.

The Earth Throws Your House to the Ground.

What Next?


Your First Line of Defense

Your first line of defense is your home. Defense means being prepared. Just thinking through what you will do in an emergency, and getting a few things in order ahead of time, lets you respond calmly and safely when the earth throws your house to the ground. Where are the people and pets? What things do you need to survive? What records should you have with you? Keep yourself healthy, and you can help your family and neighbors.

Your Second Line of Defense

Your second line of defense is your neighbors. The better prepared you and your neighbors are, the better you can help each other through what happens after the earth is done throwing your house to the ground.  Working together with your neighbors, the odds are much better that one of you will have a crowbar handy, to help get your house off your foot.

Your Third Line of Defense

Your third line of defense is your whole neighborhood being prepared as a group.  A neighborhood can afford to have a few more-expensive items on-hand.  A neighborhood might have a Ham radio operator who ends up being the only way to contact the rest of the world for hours.  Or days.  Remember, at this point your house has been thrown to the ground.  You can’t sleep there.  A neighborhood can figure out how to fix that.  And be prepared.

Your Fourth Line of Defense

Your fourth line of defense is when multiple neighborhoods work together on even larger projects. There could be a lot of houses thrown to the ground in your area, and dozens of injuries, with no way to contact the outside world to ask for help that can’t get to you anyhow.  But somewhere near you live doctors and nurses, firefighters and police, radio operators and engineers, and a whole team of neighbors who have been preparing together to help when this happens.

With a little planning and organization, a little Emergency Preparedness, we are now seeing a group of neighbors able to take care of big problems.  Everyone who had to sit there and watch their house being thrown to the ground around them now has a warm place to sleep and something to eat.  And clean water.  Everyone who was hurt is being treated. When ambulances and firefighters are able to get into your neighborhood, the situation is under control.

Your Fifth Line of Defense

Your fifth line of defense is an organization that works throughout your area to coordinate all of your neighbors in all of your neighborhoods, to be as prepared as possible. For before the earth throws your house to the ground.  And that’s CERPP.  CERPP works with volunteers at all levels to make the whole community better prepared to survive an emergency, and to be ready and useful when professional responders can get to us.

Your Sixth Line of Defense

Your sixth line of defense is all the other resources we count on, on days when the earth has not thrown dozens or hundreds of houses to the ground. Our fire and police departments, local state and federal, plus medical responders, emergency responders, and all of those resources that could take hours, or days to reach us.  Meanwhile it’s just neighbors helping neighbors.  When the earth throws hundreds of houses to the ground, it all takes about 2 minutes. That's just how the earth does its shaking thing.

On a normal day, these resources are all our FIRST line of defense. They have our backs while we go about our daily lives. They put out fires and treat the sick and injured every day. But on some days, the worst days, it's neighbors helping neighbors.

We don’t even want people to worry about "being all prepared." We just want to help neighbors get a little better prepared, and enjoy doing it. That's what CERPP is about, neighbors helping neighbors. http://www.cerpp.org

Please send any questions or concerns to us at division15.cerpp.org.