Earthquake Preparedness 101: How To Be Ready Before, During, After A Quake

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — After Friday night’s 4.5 magnitude earthquake in South El Monte was felt throughout the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, many Angelenos continued to grow concerned about when the so-called “Big One” will strike.

Jolts from the earthquake were felt around several communities, including Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Oxnard, Long Beach, Camarillo, Pacoima, Buena Park, San Dimas, Brea, Hawthorne and other areas.

Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones said the focal point was almost in the same location as a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in 1987.

RELATED: Preliminary Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake Strikes Near South El Monte

Officials said no injuries or extensive damages were reported, but still urged locals to have a plan in place for future earthquakes and any potential aftershocks.

L.A. County has a Shake Alert app available on Android and the App Store that notifies users when earthquakes are detected and shaking is expected in their area.

Here are some other earthquake preparedness techniques that L.A. County officials and the USGS have outlined:

Before an earthquake

  • Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them.
  • Create a disaster preparedness plan.
  • Identify your building’s potential weaknesses and begin to fix them.

During an earthquake

  • If you are indoors, stay there! Get under a desk or table and hold on to it (Remember: DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON). STAY CLEAR of fireplaces, windows and appliances. GET OUT of the kitchen. DO NOT run downstairs or go outside because there could be a danger of items falling on you.
  • If you are outdoors, GET AWAY from buildings, chimneys, power lines and STAY IN THE OPEN.
  • If you are driving, CAREFULLY COME TO A STOP AND STAY INSIDE YOUR CAR until shaking stops. Move far away from traffic. DO NOT stop under a bridge, overpass, trees, light posts, powerlines or anything that could fall on you. When the shaking stops, look out for debris on the road, broken pavement and bumps in the road.
  • If you are in a mountainous area, be on the lookout for debris, such as trees, rocks or any other things in the environment that an earthquake can loosen.
  • If you are near the ocean, see these safety rules from NOAA’s Tsunami Warning Center.

After an earthquake

  • After the earthquake, check for injuries and damages.
  • When safe, continue your disaster preparedness plan.

Find more details about how to prepare for an earthquake, and what to include in your disaster kit, on L.A. County’s preparedness site.

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