After a recent swarm of smaller earthquakes near the Salton Sea last week, Cal OES issued an earthquake advisory for those in Southern California to be prepared for the potential of additional earthquakes. That advisory ended today at 9 a.m.
The short-term elevated likelihood of earthquake activity in the area of Southern California has now decreased to background levels for the Southern San Andreas fault.
Cal OES will continue to be in contact with the scientific community and will provide additional information on earthquake activity as warranted.
Southern California is one of the most seismically active regions in the U.S. along with Alaska and the Big Island of Hawaii. On average, Southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes each year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s more than 27 a day!
While the potential risk of an earthquake can bring about a heighten level of anxiety and rattle the nerves, it is important to know that there are steps to help prepare.
HAVE A SAFE HOME SPACE
- Secure items that could fall and cause injuries, such as bookshelves, mirrors, light fixtures, and televisions.
- Install safety latches on kitchen cabinets to keep glassware and appliances from toppling on you.
- Use earthquake putty to secure picture frames and vases to tabletops.
- Move your bed away from windows, which can shatter and cause cuts.
- Make sure your gas heater is secured to a wall.
- Learn how to shut off your gas manually.
CREATE A PLAN
- Make sure that your emergency plan includes evacuation and ways to reunite.
- Plan how you will communicate with family members, including multiple methods by making a family emergency communication plan.
- Have the names and numbers of pertinent contacts in a location that is easily accessible.
- Go over what your family should do in the event that not everyone makes it to the meeting point.
- If you can’t call each other for some reason, make sure you can call a person out of the area to help coordinate a meet-up.
PRACTICE HOW TO “DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!”
- You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, so practice this drill often.
- Participate in “The Great ShakeOut.” An annual drill for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness.
- Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts, you Drop to the ground, Cover your head and neck with your arms, and if a safer place is nearby, crawl to it and Hold On.
- Running out of the building is not a good idea, experts say, as the exterior of a building is one of the most dangerous places to be as objects fall.
PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT
- Include First Aid supplies such as bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointments, alcohol wipes, and pain-relievers.
- Have enough emergency food and water for at least three days.
- You should have a gallon of water for each family member.
- You can purchase any non-perishable food you prefer, such as canned foods, like vegetables, beans, and tuna. Processed crackers, protein bars and salty snacks.
- Make sure you bring a manual can opener to get into emergency rations as well.
- Have a solar or manual crank flashlight and radio, or a normal flashlight with extra batteries.
- You should also have glow-sticks, matches, and candles as backup options.
- Consider keeping your car’s fuel tank half or three-quarters full at all times. A power outage will make it impossible to get fuel.
- Keep some cash and critical documents (ie. insurance policies, medical information, passports) in an easy to get to safe place at home.
- If you have a large house or family, more than 4-5 people, consider making extra kits and leaving them in different sections of the house.
- And don’t forget about your pet.
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