ROSEMEAD - If the "Big One" is on its way, the city of Rosemead wants to be sure everyone is prepared for it.
That's why the city's Public Safety Center took part in the statewide "Great Shakeout" on Oct. 18, which was meant as a wake-up call for everyone to be ready for the Big One, or any natural disaster, for that matter.
Khoi Dao, a captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 90 in South El Monte, said like it or not, it's going to become reality one day. And likely sooner than later.
"It's just being prepared for the inevitable," he said. "It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. The bottom line is just being prepared. In a major disaster, first responders might not be able to come to your assistance as we would with an everyday occurrence."
The first thing to do, Dao said, is make sure you have supplies - from water to medication - on hand for you, your family and your pets.
"The minimum is three days per person and pets," he said. "Not just water, but also food and medication and food for the pets."
So, how much water is needed?
"One gallon per person per day," Dao said. "That's the minimum. If you're out there working and exerting yourself you'll need more."
One important thing Dao pointed out in this day and age of electronic everything is don't tie up phone lines - both land lines and cellular - to pass the time in a disaster as those bands are needed to be free and available by first responders.
"Only utilize phones in an emergency," he said. "Don't call friends and family if it's not necessary. If you're overloading the system people can't get through when they really need to."
In addition, Dao said if you do have earthquake supplies, make sure to replenish them every so often because some items - like food or batteries - will spoil or not work after some time has passed.
For more information on what to do in case of an earthquake, log onto www.cityofrosemead.org or www.lacountyfire.gov.
(Shel Segal can be reached at