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
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.