Thus far, there are reports of minor damage and scattered power outages in the Vallejo and Napa Valley regions, and a few injuries, but at this time this doesn’t appear to have been a hugely damaging quake.
There is a good chance, however, of seeing numerous aftershocks in the 4.0 - 5.0 range, and a much slimmer (5%) chance of seeing a larger quake in the next couple of weeks.
While it may not tell us much about what comes next, so far 2014 has seen a major uptick in seismic activity in the United States, and around the globe. Southern California, Alaska, and California have all reported increased activity (see LA Times Quakes are increasing, but scientists aren't sure what it means).
We are still a week away from the start of National Preparedness Month, but with a tropical system trying to get its act together north of Puerto Rico, and this latest California temblor, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to take the time to review your preparedness plans today.
Seismic events aren’t just limited to earthquakes, as they encompass volcanic eruptions (see Washington State: Volcano Awareness Month) - and Tsunamis – both of which have the ability to affect both people and property thousands of miles away from the originating event (see The USGS West Coast Tsunami Scenario Report & East Coast Tsunami Threats).
Good reasons why everyone should have a disaster plan, not just those who live in an earthquake zone.
As a bare minimum, everyone should have a well thought out disaster and family communications plan, along with a good first aid kit, a `bug-out bag’, and sufficient emergency supplies to last at least 72 hours.
In When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough, I highlighted a colorful, easy-to-follow, 100 page `survival guide’ released by Los Angeles County, that covers everything from earthquake and tsunami preparedness, to getting ready for a pandemic.
The guide may be downloaded here (6.5 Mbyte PDF).
Working to improve earthquake awareness, preparation, and safety is Shakeout.org, which promotes yearly earthquake drills and education around the country (see NPM13: A Whole Lotta Shakeouts Going On). If you live in one of these seismically active regions, I would strongly encourage you to take part in these yearly drills.
To become better prepared as an individual, family, business owner, or community to deal with all types of disasters, I would invite you to visit the following preparedness sites.
AMERICAN RED CROSS http://www.redcross.org/
And lastly, in NPM13: The Greatest Prep Of All, I wrote about what I consider to be the most important preparedness step you can take – having, and being, a disaster buddy. Cultivating a network of family and friends to whom you can turn for help in a disaster, to who can turn to you for aid, if they need it.
Because no matter where you live, its just a matter of time before the next disaster strikes.