Are we ready for the next big earthquake?

The Jan. 17, 1994, Northridge earthquake, with its magnitude-6.7 Richter scale reading, caused the collapse of this overpass, at the interchange of the 5 and 14 freeways. Photo by Jonathan Alcorn/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

At 4:31 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1994, an earthquake with a 6.7 magnitude violently shook the San Fernando Valley, lasting almost 20 seconds. Dubbed the Northridge quake, its epicenter actually was in nearby Reseda, but its effects, and those of the aftershocks, radiated throughout the Los Angeles region. The official death toll was 57, and more than 8,700 people were injured. Highways tumbled, chimneys crumbled, households were torn apart and untold lives were turned upside down. 

We have learned some lessons from the 1994 quake, but its 20th anniversary can also serve as a preparedness reminder for us all. These pages share personal stories from the Northridge earthquake, but they also reflect upon how our schools and hospitals are preparing today. We also share advice on what everyone should do to be ready for another major natural disaster. 

Listen for God’s voice amid an earthquake’s shaking by Ryan Torok

Cedars-Sinai preps for next disaster by Jared Sichel

Lessons in earthquake preparedness by Ryan Torok

Earthquake emergency supply must haves by Leila Miller

Hatzolah at the ready by Jared Sichel

How reliable is social media during a disaster? by Ryan Torok

Personal stories from the
Northridge Earthquake

Michelle Gurman: Quake baby by Leila Miller

Rabbi Jerrold Goldstein:CSUN Hillel becomes temporary classroom by Leila Miller

Rabbi Ed Feinstein: Finding God in neighborly kindness when disaster strikes by Leila Miller

Elliott Samson: Like a rollercoaster ride by Jared Sichel

Rabbi Elchanan Shoff: Hard-hat prep by Jared Sichel

Cathy Carpenter: Up to their ankles in rubble by Leila Miller

Ben Forer: Caught at the yeshiva by Jared Sichel

Stacy and Sean O’Rourke: Shaking up some romance by Leila Miller