4.4 Yorba Linda Earthquake: Are You Prepared for the Big One?

August 10, 2012
image: Freedigitalphotos.net

image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Just this past Tuesday, August 7th, at 11:23 p.m., a 4.4 earthquake struck nearby Yorba Linda, sending shockwaves across Southern California. The very next day, a 4.5 earthquake struck also near Yorba Linda, again startling those who live in the near cities. Over a dozen 1.1 and 1.2 magnitude aftershocks have rumbled across the same area until Wednesday afternoon.

Californians are no strangers to earthquakes. According to the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, California, on average, experiences 37,283 earthquakes annually. Most people cannot feel them since majority those earthquakes are in the 1.0 to 1.5 magnitude range. Southern California has not experienced a large scale earthquake over 5.0 since July 28, 2008, which was in Chino Hills with a magnitude of 5.5.

Unfortunately, earthquakes are a natural force that is absolutely inevitable. This past week has reminded many of us that we should and need to be prepared in case for the worst. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends these quick tips to prepare for the next earthquake:

  • Put together an emergency kit, with a family communications plan.
  • Earthquake proof your home – Fasten shelves, pictures, and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches, and chairs; place large and heavy objects near the floor; store bottled foods, glass, and china in closed cabinets with latches low to ground; secure overhead lighting fixtures and top heavy objects; store poisons such as weed killers and pesticides in lower secure closed cabinets with latches.
  • Make any repairs to defective electrical wiring, leaky gas connections, and pipe fittings for gas and water, but please have them checked out by professionals to prevent floods, explosions, and fires. Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace, and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Ask for expert advice if there are signs of structural defects to be sure your home is firmly secured to the foundation.
  • Hold practice emergency drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on. Locate all safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall.
  • Make sure your home has proper earthquake coverage. Los Angeles Times reported in 2011 that 5 out of 6 homeowners had no earthquake coverage. Many of those, after losing their homes in the 1994 Northridge quake, had to literally start over.

Knowing you are prepared for the next big emergency gives peace of mind and relieves any stress for you and your family. For more information on how to better prepare for the next quake, visit shakeout.org/California. If you need to get earthquake coverage for your home or property, or you have questions, call the very helpful agents at Alandale Insurance at (888) 854-4501.

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