News23ABC In-Depth


Earthquake near Lake Isabella a reminder to be prepared

Posted: 4:47 PM, Jul 06, 2022
Updated: 2022-07-06 21:15:22-04
Lake Isabella (FILE)

LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. (KERO) — Some residents near Lake Isabella got a rude awakening late Tuesday night when an earthquake struck the area.

The area of Bodfish near Lake Isabella is where that 3.5 magnitude earthquake took place. It's just over 60 miles from Ridgecrest where three years ago a 7.1 earthquake took place.

Gabrielle Tepp, a seismologist with the California Institute of Technology says it's best to stay prepared because you never know when the next big one will strike.

“Definitely can wake you up in the middle of the night.”

That was the reality for some of the community in Lake Isabella Tuesday night when the 3.5 earthquake with a depth of 1.6 miles struck at 11:15 p.m.

Tepp says if this type of earthquake happened under your home you might have trouble but generally there won’t be too much damage.

“Expected shaking from this earthquake was kind of light. So you’ll hear things shaking around, making a little noise, but it's probably not going to do a lot of damage.”

But Tepp adds that while this area, in particular, may not see a big quake, in California it can happen.

“California has a lot of faults and there will be another big one, somewhere at some point.”

That’s why Janiele Maffei, the chief mitigation officer with the California Earthquake Authority says it's best to stay prepared.

“Make sure you have a kit in your car, your house. Make sure you have a plan that your children, your parents, your family knows where you're going to go if you cant get back into a building or back into your house."

Maffei also says you should look at the heavy furniture or appliances in your home and make sure they don't have the potential to fall and hurt someone. But says the most important thing is education.

"We live in earthquake country so the idea is to educate, inform yourself and your family about the risk and then to try and take those steps. Maybe a few baby steps at the beginning, for resilience for you and your family."

Maffei and Tepp also say that a 1.1 aftershock also took place but that is likely too small for residents to have felt.

23ABC In-Depth

23ABC is taking an in-depth at safety tips to keep in mind during one of these earthquakes.

The California Department of Conservation says that if you are indoors, stay there. Get under and hold onto a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. But if you happen to be outside during the shaking, get into the open. Stay clear of buildings, power lines, or anything else that could fall on you.

If you're driving, the department says to move the car out of traffic and stop. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses.

Lastly, if you’re in a crowded public place, avoid panicking and do not rush for the exit. Stay low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

More Earthquake tips from the California Department of Conservation:

How to Prepare for an Earthquake

  • Plan on fending for yourself for at least three days, preferably for a week. Electricity, water, gas and telephones may not be working after an earthquake. The police and fire departments are likely to be tied up.
  • Stock your emergency supplies.You'll need food and water (a gallon a day per person); a first aid kit; a fire extinguisher suitable for all types of fires; flashlights; a portable radio; extra batteries, blankets, clothes, shoes and money (ATMs may not work); medication; an adjustable or pipe wrench to turn off gas or water, if necessary; baby and pet food; and an alternate cooking source (barbecue or camp stove). This list can also be applied to other disasters, such as floods or wildfires.
  • Decide in advance how and where your family will reunite if separated during a quake.Do in-home practice drills. You might choose an out-of-the-area friend or relative that family members can call to check on you.
  • Secure hazards and big appliances.Including water heaters, major appliances and tall, heavy furniture to prevent them from toppling are prudent steps. So, too, are storing hazardous or flammable liquids, heavy objects and breakables on low shelves or in secure cabinets.
  • Discuss earthquake insurance with your agent.Depending on your financial situation and the value of your home, it may be worthwhile.

What to do During an Earthquake

  • If you're indoors, stay there.Get under -- and hold onto --a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. Stay clear of exterior walls, glass, heavy furniture, fireplaces and appliances. The kitchen is a particularly dangerous spot. If you’re in an office building, stay away from windows and outside walls and do not use the elevator. Many are certain that standing in a doorway during the shaking is a good idea. That’s false, unless you live in an unreinforced adobe structure; otherwise, you're more likely to be hurt by the door swinging wildly in a doorway or trampled by people trying to hurry outside if you’re in a public place.
  • If you're outside, get into the open.Stay clear of buildings, power lines or anything else that could fall on you.
  • If you're driving, move the car out of traffic and stop. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses. Try to get clear of trees, light posts, signs and power lines. When you resume driving, watch out for road hazards.
  • If you're in a mountainous area, beware of the potential for landslides. Likewise, if you're near the ocean, be aware that tsunamis are associated with large earthquakes. Get to high ground.
  • If you’re in a crowded public place, avoid panicking and do not rush for the exit. Stay low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

What to Do After an Earthquake

  • Check for fire or fire hazards. If you smell gas, shut off the main gas valve. If there's evidence of damage to electrical wiring, shut off the power at the control box.
  • If the phone is working, only use it in case of emergency.Likewise, avoid driving if possible to keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Be aware.Items may fall out of cupboards or closets when the door is opened, and also that chimneys can be weakened and fall with a touch. Check for cracks and damage to the roof and foundation of your home.
  • Listen to the radio for important information and instructions. Remember that aftershocks, sometimes large enough to cause damage in their own right, generally follow large quakes.
  • If you leave home, leave a message telling friends and family your location.