At a time when many in the Tri-Valley are experiencing power outages and wind damage, and nearly everyone is breathing unhealthy smoky air, it’s easy to forget the signature risk for which California has been famous since 1906: Earthquakes.

This month is the 30th anniversary of the powerful Loma Prieta earthquake, as the Red Cross reminded us last week. Loma Prieta was centered near Santa Cruz, but it generated strong ground motion well to the north and east, killing 63 and injuring more than 3,700.

“The next earthquake could be even more devastating,” said the Red Cross’s regional CEO. Indeed, it could. Driven by irresistible forces from deep within the planet, the Earth’s surface is constantly under pressure to move.

Accumulated over years or centuries, that pressure can cause enormous destruction when released. The Tri-Valley is at risk, along with the rest of California. Are you ready? We join the Red Cross, California Earthquake Authority, Alameda County and many other organizations in urging all residents to plan for the inevitable “Big One.” Check the websites of these organizations to learn how to prepare – then do it. You may save lives, your own and your family’s.