25 years after the Northridge Earthquake, here’s how to prepare for the next one

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January 17 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, which rattled the region, destroying buildings and taking lives.

If you haven’t gotten your earthquake kit together and made sure you have a plan, do it today! You can start with FEMA’s earthquake safety checklist.

You should also download ShakeAlertLA, the city’s early warning app.

What should be in your earthquake kit

Here’s what the Red Cross suggests you have in your emergency kit. (Read more about preparing for an emergency on the Red Cross website).

  • Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit – Anatomy of a First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

How to stay safe in a temblor


If you are inside:

Drop to the ground, and get under something sturdy. One of the primary dangers during an earthquake is falling debris, so get under a table, bed or other heavy object, and hold it in place. Watch out for broken glass and try to distance yourself from broken windows and chandeliers. Don’t go anywhere until you’re sure the shaking has stopped, and definitely don’t get into an elevator.

If you are outside:

Put as much distance between yourself and anything that could potentially fall. Including, but not limited to, buildings, trees, power lines, and street lights. And stay in open space until you can be sure the shaking is over.

If you are in a car:

Stay in the car! Come to a stop when you can, and proceed cautiously after the quake is over.