SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — The head of California’s Earthquake Authority says the quake that hit the state on Thursday is “an important reminder that all of California is earthquake country.”

CONTINUING COVERAGE at CBS Los Angeles: 6.4 Quake Strikes Near Ridgecrest in Kern County

Glenn Pomeroy says the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit Southern California shows why people in the state must be prepared for such events.

Pomeroy says: “It’s important to know what to do to stay safe when the ground starts shaking_drop, cover and hold on!_and to take other steps to prepare to survive and recover from damaging earthquakes, such as to retrofit homes built prior to 1980 and the advent of modern building codes, which may be more vulnerable to earthquake damage, and consider earthquake insurance to protect ourselves financially.”

Pomeroy urged the estimated 2,000 people in the region hit by the quake who have insurance policies to contact insurance agencies as soon as possible. He says information on how to file a policy claim is on the agency’s website:

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES (via USGS: What emergency supplies do I need for an earthquake?)

  1. Fire extinguisher
  2. Adequate supplies of medications that you or family members are taking
  3. Crescent and pipe wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies
  4. First-aid kit and handbook
  5. Flashlights with extra bulbs and batteries
  6. Portable radio with extra batteries
  7. Water for each family member for at least two weeks (allow at least 1 gallon per person per day) and purification tablets or chlorine bleach to purify drinking water from other sources
  8. Canned and package foods, enough for several days and mechanical can opener. Extra food for pets if necessary
  9. Camp stove or barbecue to cook on outdoors (store fuel out of the reach of children)
  10. Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal

READ MORE: What can I do to be prepared for an earthquake?

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