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We lived in California for 15 years and lived through several earthquakes — though we were never close to the epicenter of any of them. The first one we experienced was the 1994 Northridge earthquake. At the time, we had a little Peek-a-poo dog who woke us up around 4:30 in the morning.

We didn’t know what was going on. The dog was yipping and yapping, running in circles on the bed. About 30 seconds later, our walls began shaking and we knew we had experienced an earthquake.

As bad as the earthquakes are, what follows them can often be worse: fires and aftershocks.

If you’ve lived very long, you know that life’s troubles can be like that — there’s the first explosion and then the aftermath.

A family member has a stroke, followed by rehabilitation and perhaps even learning how to speak again.

A person goes through a divorce, followed by feelings of guilt and the realities of being single.

Here are two things I’ve learned about crises:

1. Crises don’t come at convenient times. You can’t schedule them or pick the ideal time to have a crisis.

2. All of us live on top of a fault line. It might lie dormant for a while, but it’s still a fault line.

The question is not if a crisis will come. They will. The ground beneath will shake. The real question is, will we be prepared when it does?