The ground has done a lot of shaking lately, making some Southern Calif. residents a little nervous.
Most recently, a 3.2 magnitude earthquake shook Beverly Hills on Sept. 3, San Diego residents were rattled by a magnitude 3.5 quake on Aug. 31 and a 4.1 magnitude quake hit Yorba Linda Aug. 29. Several other quakes shook the region throughout August.
Although there have been a few more earthquakes than usual lately, experts say the increased movement is nothing to worry about.
“The earthquake sequence we have had in the last few weeks most likely reflects a natural variability in the number of earthquakes that occur over time,” said Elizabeth Cochran, assistant professor of seismology at UC Riverside.
“As we have seen in the past, there are times when we have more of these moderately-sized earthquakes and times when there are fewer,” Cochran said.
However, the increased seismic activity provides a good reminder that area residents should be prepared in advance for a larger earthquake.
Since 1987, Southern Calif. has been hit by at least nine damaging earthquakes and Riverside County has suffered damage as a result of several of these quakes. There are many things people can do to prepare for a more significant earthquake.
First, prepare a plan for the entire family. Consider as many contingencies as possible. For instance, consider what to do if a quake were to hit during the day when parents may be at work and children may be at school.
Locate a safe place in every room of the house for refuge during an earthquake. Teach children to take cover in these spaces, to hold on and to protect their faces and eyes.
Choose an out-of-town contact where all members of the family can check in after an emergency.
Eliminate potential hazards by securing bookcases or other large furniture pieces to walls and installing latches on cupboards.
Next, gather emergency supplies and store them in a safe location. Perishables will remain stable for a longer period if stored in a cool, dry location.
The Riverside County Office of Emergency Services has a suggested Home Emergency Supplies list posted online at www.rvcfire.org that includes food and drink items, first aid supplies and other items that may be needed in an emergency.
Jennifer Dean is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.