Earthquakes are usually caused when underground faults shift suddenly. Tectonic plates are always moving, but when they get stuck, pressure builds. When that pressure is released, it causes seismic waves that make the ground shake. Here’s how you can be prepared.


Five Ways to


  • 1 Practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Participate in a Great Shakeout Drill.
  • 2 Sign up for earthquake alerts. Many apps are available for your smart device.
  • 3 Earthquake proof your home. Click here to get started.
  • 4 Have a Family Emergency Plan, communication, and evacuations. Talk with neighbors who might need assistance and include them.
  • 5 Be prepared to stay or go. Depending on damage, it may be safer to stay where you are. Store supplies at home, and in your car or at work.

Four Ways to

Save the Day

  • 1 Drop, Cover and Hold On and encourage others to do the same.
  • 2 Expect aftershocks, but move to safety when able, outside or away from damaged buildings.
  • 3 If you are near the ocean, move to higher ground in case of a tsunami.
  • 4 If you suspect a natural gas leak, turn off the valve on the gas meter to prevent fires and explosions. Shop local home improvement stores for shutoff multi-tools. Wait for a professional to restore service.

Three Things to


  • 1 Protecting yourself from falling objects is key. Preplan where you will take cover at home, school or work.
  • 2 Ventura County has several faults capable of producing a 6-7 magnitude earthquake: Oakridge, San Cayetano, South San Andreas and Ventura Pitas Point.
  • 3 The California building code prioritizes life safety and building collapse prevention Visit the Seismic Safety Commission for the latest report.

Two Things to

Ease Your Mind

  • 1 There is no such thing as “earthquake weather.” Statistically speaking, earthquakes occur equally in hot and cold weather.
  • 2 Several small magnitude earthquakes in a short timeframe (aka swarm) do not necessarily indicate the big one is coming.

One Question You Should be Asking

Right Now

  • 1 How will things shake up near me? Use the ShakeMap to view scenarios and anticipate intensity near you.

Did You


Did you know that an earthquake can disturb fungal spores that when inhaled cause “Valley Fever?” Be aware of airborne dust caused by an earthquake and cover your mouth and nose, or use a mask, when possible. Click here to learn more.


Get Started on Your Emergency Kit

Don't wait until an emergency happens, when it's too late! Ready Ventura County makes it easy for you to create a kit that's just right for your household. Use our plan builder to get started today.