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Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina reminded us that when it comes to natural disasters, you can prepare for the worst, but it's also crucial to plan.

In Los Angeles, the looming disaster is not a hurricane, but a long-overdue eruption of the massive San Andreas Fault.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ran for mayor in 2013 promising to tackle the mundane infrastructure challenges that previous mayors had neglected.

Los Angeles CNN —  

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina reminded us that when it comes to natural disasters, you can prepare for the worst, but it’s also crucial to plan for the chaos that comes afterward.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took that lesson to heart. He is haunted by the memory of flying over New Orleans in a helicopter a full year after the storm and seeing whole sections of the city that hadn’t come back to life – and probably never would.

In Los Angeles, the looming disaster is not a hurricane, but a long-overdue eruption of the massive San Andreas Fault, which seismologists say is the most likely source of a large earthquake in heavily populated Southern California.

Garcetti ran for mayor in 2013 promising to tackle the mundane infrastructure challenges that previous mayors had neglected: potholes, decaying water pipes and retrofits of Los Angeles’ large stock of pre-1980s concrete buildings, which are often most vulnerable to earthquakes.

Now that he is in office, Garcetti is pushing even harder, arguing that Los Angeles and other cities in the region must not only prepare for the next big one, but also for its aftermath. In a state plagued by drought, he is working to increase Los Angeles’ water capacity to ensure it is able to fight the thousands of fires that could rage across the city and county. He also wants to prevent petroleum and natural gas lines, which run across the fault, from rupturing, and to protect fiber optic communications lines from being disrupted – possibly for months – after a big earthquake.