Southern California earthquake reminds us to be prepared

The 6.4 earthquake that struck Southern California’s Kern County on the Fourth of July was the largest temblor to strike the area in decades

Governor Gavin Newsom had approved an emergency proclamation for the earthquake and its aftershocks. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but events like this are always a good reminder to stock up on supplies and be aware of earthquake preparedness. 

Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of The California Earthquake Authority joined us on KTVU’s The Four. He said getting your earthquake kit together is of utmost importance. 

Kits should include food, water and should be stored in your garage or apartment so they are ready to go. 

“If you have medicines, make sure you have a supply,” Pomeroy said. 

His own kit includes Cliff bars, water, candles and matches. 

“If you have pets, make sure you have a little food for them as well. 

Regardless of whether or not you live in the “heart of earthquake country”, Pomeroy says a general disaster kit, which would include some of the same items for fires and floods, is good to have on hand.

“If this 6.4 would have been in a heavily-populated area, we would have been at damages in the billions,” Pomeroy said.  “It’s going to happen somewhere else again. It’s going to happen again in Kern County if you listen to the experts.” 

He said you would normally need a separate insurance policy to cover the damages you would suffer in an earthquake (separate from your homeowners’ policy). Pomeroy advises that the maximum Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant is $30,000. “That’s not going to rebuild anyone’s home. People need to take stock of the fact that they really need to have a separate policy.”