Imagine waking up, not to your alarm clock, but to a magnitude 4.4 earthquake! What could you do to protect yourself if you were still groggy in bed when the quake started?
This was a question many California residents had to ask at 6:25 a.m. PDT on Monday, March 17th, when a magnitude 4.4 earthquake was reported in the southern California area. This monumental earthquake was quickly labeled the #Shamrockshake by California residents and news teams on Twitter in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
According to Robert Graves, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, this quake was the biggest shake in southern California since a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in Chino Hills in 2008. This unexpected quake reminds us of the importance of emergency preparedness, especially since Graves suggests that earthquakes of this magnitude often act as preludes to equal or stronger shakes.
In fact, Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, suggests that "today's earthquake is a reminder that every L.A. family must be prepared with food, water, and other essentials, as well as a plan" even though there was no major damage reported in the area. But preparations don't just stop at food and water; there are also things you can do to prepare your home like bolting down furniture or securing bookcases.
To find out the latest about California's 4.4 earthquake, check out the L.A. Times article, " Earthquake: 4.4 quake strikes Los Angeles; 6 aftershocks so far." Also, follow the #Shamrockshake Twitter hashtag for continual updates.
As we suggest in our article “Preparing for Earthquakes”, if you're ever caught in an earthquake while you're in bed (like many in California were), hold on, stay there, and protect your head with a pillow.