On July 4th and July 5th, two major earthquakes struck in Kern County near Ridgecrest, California, approximately 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Southern California Grantmakers is fully operational and will be updating this webpage with the latest information and resources on how to respond to the aftermath of the earthquake sequence.
Overview of the Earthquake Sequence
A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck on the morning of the July 4th holiday, followed by a much stronger magnitude 7.1 earthquake during the night on July 5th. As a result of the July 5th earthquake, Governor Gavin Newsom requested a presidential emergency declaration for federal assistance to provide aid to local governments and residents for Kern County and was approved. Additionally, the Governor has also declared a state of emergency for San Bernardino County due to damages to critical infrastructures, homes, and other buildings.
Minor injuries and medical emergencies have been reported, but, fortunately, no fatalities have been reported.
Ridgecrest is a small town with approximately 28,000 resident in the rural Kern County, comprising of families and older adults. The largest employers in town include the United States Navy and a local hospital. The three nearest major urban centers include Lancaster/Palmdale (82 miles), Bakersfield (110 miles), and San Bernardino (120 miles).
State and local officials are currently conducting impact assessments to determine the extent of damages caused by these powerful earthquakes.
Philanthropy California—an alliance of Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego Grantmakers—has been in touch with state and local officials since July 4th to determine the extent of the earthquake impacts on local communities. Philanthropy California is also identifying partners to reliably support response and recovery from this earthquake sequence.
Status of the Earthquake Sequence
For more information about the earthquake sequence, please check the following websites:
- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is providing up-to-date details of the earthquakes: https://www.usgs.gov/news/update-magnitude-71-earthquake-southern-califo...
- The Los Angeles Times is updating what you need to know: https://www.latimes.com/
How to Help
Kern County Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund
Kern Community Foundation, a trusted 501(c)(3) nonprofit responding to the philanthropic needs of Kern County, including during emergencies, has established the Kern County Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund to address the community’s recovery needs in the aftermath of recent earthquake activity. Donations to the fund are accepted online or via phone by calling 661-325-5346 Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.
The Community Foundation (serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) Inland Empire Disaster Relief Fund: Established to provide relief funds to nonprofits serving the community of Trona, an unincorporated community in San Bernardino county that was hit hard by the July 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence in Southern California.
How Philanthropy California Can Support Your Engagement
Philanthropy California is deploying its deep work in disaster resilience efforts toward:
- Sharing what’s needed now, emerging issues, and where funders can make the most of their contributions
- Publicizing trusted funds for relief and recovery
- Advising how best to meet short and long-term needs
- Connecting funders, government partners, and organizations active in responding to the disaster
- Supporting funders with tools, connections, and expertise
For questions and more information, please contact Alan H. Kwok, PhD, Director, Disaster Resilience, Philanthropy California at firstname.lastname@example.org.