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Office of Emergency Management


At 4:30 a.m. on January 17, 1994, the Northridge earthquake struck with a force of 6.7 magnitude on the Richter scale.  Although the epicenter was 12 miles away, Santa Monica was hit hard.  Power was knocked out and more than 1,600 housing units were damaged. Hundreds of injured residents flooded both major hospitals, both of which were so extensively damaged that they had to be rebuilt. The 10 Freeway was closed for months.

Living in Southern California, we are vulnerable to a wide range of threats, both natural and those that come with living in the 21st Century in one of the world’s great urban centers.  Santa Monica’s Office of Emergency Management exists to prepare us for disasters as well as routine emergencies that generate more than 200 calls to 9-1-1 every 24 hours. 

While we strive to be ready for any contingency, the most important element of community resilience is you.  At its most basic, every household should have a kit and have a plan.   Beyond that, you can sign up for our mass notification system (SM Alerts), volunteer to become a part of our community emergency response team (CERT) or get assistance in preparing a business continuity plan. 

It’s easy to put off planning for the unexpected – but the 1994 jolt reminds us just how vital it is to be prepared.  The Office of Emergency Management is your partner in safeguarding your life, your loved ones, your neighbors and your community.   

I invite you to use this site to support your emergency preparedness efforts – and to contact us if we can help you be ready for any emergency.

Rick Cole


City of Santa Monica © 2020

200 Santa Monica Pier, Suite J, Santa Monica, CA 90401