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Officials say you need to have an emergency kit on hand, and this is what it should include.
Steve Byerly, Ventura County Star

Twenty-four hours after a cluster of small earthquakes in Ventura, there was a new round of them Friday, including three that rated a 3.0 magnitude or higher. 

There was a 3.2-magnitude quake at 5:37 a.m. Friday, preceded by a 3.6-magnitude one at 5:29 a.m. and a 3.5-magnitude one at 4:10 a.m., according to CalTech data

About a dozen more were above 2.0 — including three that rated 2.9 — and the rest were 1.9 or below.

They were all part of a swarm of more than 45 quakes Friday that were centered in the Ventura area.

Friday’s wave of quakes began at 3:28 a.m. and continued until at least 1:55 p.m. Just like Thursday’s cluster, most were in west and midtown Ventura and were 3 to 5 miles deep, according to CalTech data.

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The quakes Friday were a repeat of what happened early Thursday, when there was a ripple of about 20 tremors through Ventura, including two over 3.0 magnitude.

John Bellini, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center, told The Star that a cluster of small earthquakes isn’t unusual.

“There is usually a lot of after and before or post shakes,” he said.

But they aren’t necessarily an indicator that another quake is on the way.

“There is no way to say that something bigger is going to happen,” he said. 

Here’s a map from Friday afternoon showing earthquakes in Ventura for the past seven days. The size of each dot indicates the magnitude, and the orange dots are the ones that had occurred in the past 24 hours.

A repeat of Thursday

Of the two quakes on Thursday that were over 3.0 magnitude, one was a 3.3-level tremor at 4:58 a.m., and the other rated a 3.4 at 5:05 a.m. The first was centered just off the coast of Pierpont and was 3 miles deep, and the second was centered along the beach near the Crowne Plaza Hotel and was 4 miles deep, according to CalTech data. 

Those quakes were the biggest in a cluster Thursday that began just after midnight and continued until just before 10 a.m.  

More earthquake coverage:

Seven of the 22 quakes Thursday were what the Southern California Earthquake Data Center at CalTech categorized as microearthquakes — tremors measuring under 2.0 magnitude that are rarely felt more than 5 miles from their epicenter.

Aside from the two that rated magnitudes over 3.0, seven rated 2.0 or higher, and the rest ranged from 0.8 to 1.9.

MORE: California earthquake alerts to become available statewide

Their depths all ranged from 3 to 5 miles, and most were centered along Ventura’s midtown and west side, according to CalTech data. The epicenters formed a pattern roughly parallel to Ventura Avenue.

The vast majority of the quakes Thursday and Friday were small, but Bellini — like local public safety officials — emphasized the need to be prepared for a bigger one. 

“California is a seismic state, and people should always be prepared for an earthquake,” he said, since no one really knows when one will occur. 

“There is no way to predict earthquakes.” 

The quakes came about three weeks after residents of the region practiced earthquake safety during the Great California ShakeOut. Close to 4.7 million people participated in the ShakeOut across Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, according to organizers.

Although Thursday’s tremors were minor, staying prepared for earthquakes is important, Ventura County public safety officials agree.

You should be able to fend for yourself for the first 72 hours after a disaster because first responders will be overwhelmed with calls and also may be affected by the disaster. 

Ventura County emergency officials have told The Star that all residents are encouraged to prepare for emergencies by:

  • Building and maintaining an emergency supply kit.
  • Developing a plan for what to do when a disaster occurs.
  • Staying informed by signing up for VC Alert emergency notification system at https://www.readyventuracounty.org/vc-alert.
  • Getting involved with community groups centered on disaster response and recovery.

For your emergency supply kit, a starting point is to include at least a gallon of water per person per day (to avoid contamination, don’t store bottles directly on concrete), nonperishable packaged or canned food, a change of clothes, blankets, a first-aid kit, prescription medications, a battery-powered radio and flashlights, and extra batteries, according to the American Red Cross. Take special account for the elderly or infants of ill family members. And don’t forget food and water for your pets. 

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Also keep a kit in your vehicle, including additional items you may need such as jumper cables and road flares.

Important documents such as deeds, insurance papers and vehicle ownership papers can be transferred ahead of time to a portable hard drive. Electronic copies of photo albums and other sentimental items may also be made in advance. 

The next step is to decide on a centralized location to meet up after an emergency and a way to contact each other to make sure everyone is safe. If the cellphone system is working, officials recommend using text messages.

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What to include in your disaster kit

  • A gallon of water per person per day. Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers that are not placed directly on concrete. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
  • A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
  • A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags. 
  • A first-aid kit and prescription medications.
  • An extra pair of glasses.
  • A battery-powered radio, a flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
  • Credit cards and cash.
  • An extra set of car keys.
  • A list of family physicians.
  • A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices such as pacemakers.
  • Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members. 

For more earthquake tips, visit https://www.readyventuracounty.org/stay-informed/earthquake.

Source: American Red Cross

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