Santa Barbara- S County

Earthquake Preparedness Can Help After Shaking Stops

Magnitude 6.9 Quake Broke Water Mains, Caused Damage In Orange County

Getting Ready For An Earthquake

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Earthquakes in California are common but when ones strikes, it's a late reminder to prepare for them.

In 1925, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake rattled Santa Barbara. It crumbled buildings and killed 13 people.

On Friday, a magnitude 5.1 quake broke water mains and caused damage in Orange County.

Preparing for natural disasters can be overwhelming, but there are some basic tips to get you started.

"The general message is again, self reliance. If there's a major earthquake and there's major damage or injuries within the city, obviously first responders will be overwhelmed," said Capt. Gary Pitney of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

Pitney said before the shaking starts, people should make sure they have an emergency supplies kit with items like water, batteries, a flashlight and blanket.

Once that is packed, make sure the hot water heater is properly secured.

"The concern is if you're water heater isn't strapped, it will fall over in an earthquake which is fairly obvious and associated with that water heater coming loose, would be unsecured utility lines: gas lines in general, a lot of times there's electrical connections with water heaters," said Pitney.

Next tip is to find the gas meter and know how it works in case you smell gas after the quake.

"Simply put the wrench over the shut off, turn it so it's cross the gas line which means the gas valve is now shut off," he said.

For tips and checklists on how to get prepared, click on the links below:

California Science Center

Earthquake Country Alliance

California Office of Emergency Services

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