Shaking Up The O.C.

Mother Natures Wake Up Call

Mother Nature either wanted to thank us for a great Earth Day celebration or wake us up Monday…The 3.9-magnitude earthquake that rattled Orange County resulted in no damage or injuries, but it serves as a reminder of the need to be prepared for earthquakes and emergencies in general.

So, can you go it alone for 3 days if a big one hit?  My husband and I are natives to California and have experienced numerous quakes in our lifetime.  You can never be too prepared. Our family plan is ever changing as our kids are so young -we need to redefine our plan constantly.  My husband and I have our backpacks packed with old nikes tied to the top for an emergency.

We have not packed up backpacks for our kids, but this quake was a gentle reminder to add 4 packs to our earthquake stash.  The following information from can provide you items to pack in your backpacks and offer things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake.

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit (with food, water and supplies to sustain you for several days) and make a family communications plan.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
  • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

Earthquakes and emergencies can happen at any time. Therefore, remember these tips and be sure to also sign up for AlertOC, a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions after an emergency.