A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck near the Channel Islands at 12:29 p.m. Thursday (Source: U.S. Geological Survey). We felt the shaking in our home office, but not everyone in the house felt it. The small quake coincides with Emergency Preparedness month, illustrating that a major earthquake could occur at any time.
According to the Los Angeles Times, this was the strongest quake to hit the area in recent years. Emergency officials wasted no time in sending out reminders about the importance of preparing for future quakes.
The County of Los Angeles Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) offered the following preparedness tips on what to do during an earthquake:
- If you experience shaking, the recommended actions, if you are able to do so, “Drop” to the floor; take “Cover” under a piece of furniture or protect your head and neck with one arm/hand; and “Hold On” to the piece of furniture’s leg to keep it from shifting or uncovering you until the shaking completely stops. Never run out of buildings during an earthquake as most people are injured by falling debris as they try to exit buildings during the shaking.
- If you experience shaking and are in a wheelchair or walker, “Lock” your wheels; “Cover” your head and neck area with a pillow or some type of object that will deflect the debris from falling on to you and “Hold On.”
- When you are in public places, be aware of your surroundings and identify your safe spaces.
- To receive emergency notifications, register your cellular telephone and landlines at Alert LA County, go to http://lacounty.gov/emergency/alert-la. Cities, special districts, employers, schools and universities may have their own notification systems. Make sure you research which other systems are available in your community and sign up so that you are informed when there is a local emergency.
For more information on how to prepare for earthquakes and other hazards and threats in Los Angeles County, OEM has available online the County of Los Angeles Emergency Survival Guide – http://lacounty.gov/emergency.
Also, Los Angeles County residents, renters, and business owners, including persons with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, may call 211 LA County at any time for emergency preparedness information, and other referral services. The toll-free 2-1-1 number is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. 211 LA County services can also be accessed online by visiting https://www.211la.org.