Last week a magnitude 5.1 earthquake was felt in California, the home to the Wearable Imaging offices. The 2014 La Habra earthquake hit southern California on Friday March 28th, and was centered 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. There have been no reports of the loss of life or extensive damage to buildings, but it’s safe to say that we were all shook up by the tremors.
20 apartment buildings in Orange County were evacuated because of slight structural damage, including broken chimneys and cracks in the foundations. 83 people have been inconvenienced, and won’t be returning to their homes until an inspector has declared the buildings safe to occupy. Several business owners have also spent the weekend sweeping up broken glass and rearranging their stock, and city workers have been spotted rectifying gas and water leaks, and restoring power to the city.
This magnitude 5.1 earthquake came just a week after a 4.4 quake shook buildings in the nearby San Fernando Valley region. What’s more, yet another earthquake hit southern California on Saturday – a 4.1 magnitude tremor that has been the largest of over 100 aftershocks. Again there have been no injuries or serious damage to buildings, but with California being a designated “earthquake zone” situated above the San Andreas Fault, could there be more on the way?
Los Angeles has enjoyed several years of relative seismic calm, with no fatalities or major damage in recent history. In fact, Friday’s 5.1 earthquake was the strongest to hit the region since a 5.4 tremor in July 2008. However, the catastrophe of the Northridge Earthquake in 1994 is still fresh in the minds of many residents. 60 people were killed by the magnitude 6.7 earthquake, which also cost $20 billion of damage to buildings in the 10-20 seconds that it lasted.
Here at Wearable Imaging we are as cautious as any other local residents, and after 19 years without any major incidents, we have begun to think about the possibility of a stronger earthquake in the future. As much as we love living in California, our geographical placement means that we will always need to be prepared for the event of a strong earthquake. Luckily, a little time and effort now could prevent us from stress – and even harm – if the worst should happen.
One of the best ways to prepare for a future earthquake is to make up an emergency kit to be stored at home, at work or in your car. An earthquake preparedness kit will keep you alive and well in the event of a natural disaster, and could be an invaluable precaution if we are to see more California earthquakes in the coming years.
You should stock your earthquake preparedness kit with non-perishable food and drinking water, ideally enough to last you several days. You should also include any required medications which you may require in the event of getting trapped or your building collapsing. A flashlight and whistle can be essential for communicating during a disaster, but a spare smartphone battery can also be a lifesaver. A first aid kit and sturdy shoes will help to protect you from injury, but ideally you should also have a dust mask and gloves to combat the dust and debris which can result from a collapsed building. Wearable Imaging offers a fully supplied disaster back pack kit so that you’re ready on a moment’s notice.
By preparing for a future earthquake correctly, we can make the whole experience less stressful and potentially less dangerous. There is no guarantee that a strong earthquake will hit California any time soon, but here at Wearable Imaging we see no harm in preparing for the worst, just in case.
If you live in Southern California and you felt the 5.1 magnitude earthquake last Friday, you may be already thinking, do you have your own emergency kit for natural disasters, or have the recent tremors encouraged you to put one together now?