Southern California's significant earthquakes this week remind us of the need to be prepared here in the Bay Area.
Centered near the town of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north east of Los Angeles, two consecutive large quakes Thursday, 6.4 magnitude, and Friday, 7.1 magnitude, have caused damage, fires and some injuries, leaving the area reeling. Fortunately, there aren't yet reports of death.
Best wishes and prayers to our SoCal neighbors affected by these earthquakes.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists predict there is a
63% chance of a deadly 6.7 magnitude
earthquake (about the strength of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake)
the Bay Area within the next 30 years.
This is a good time for us to make sure we have earthquake emergency kits in our homes. Here's a short list of essential items. It's reccomended to pack for about a week without electricity or water.
- Battery powered or hand cranked radio
- Non-perishable food
- Emergency contact list
- Pet food and supplies
Also remember to secure tall furniture, like bookcases, china cabinets, and hutches, to walls.
Often, home gas lines rupture during a major earthquake and cause fires. I'm proud to have sponsored an ordinance in Contra Costa that requires the installation of an automatic gas shut-off valve in new construction, major home remodels and at the time of sale of your home. I have one on my house. Consider one for yours.
If you're a property owner and interested in California earthquake insurance check out
from the state insurance commissioner.
There are many excellent resources with information about disaster preparedness. Here are some helpful links:
Our local cities also provide great emergency response training (CERT) to residents for free. Check with your city for further information.
As Southern California residents are learning, you never know when an earthquake will happen. We don't yet have reliable prediction technology to really help communities.
Thankfully, we know many techniques and benefits of preparedness. There are steps we can take now.