(SACRAMENTO) This morning we woke up to news of a magnitude-6.5 earthquake off the Northern California coast, a hundred miles west of Eureka. Then a couple of hours later, a magnitude-5.0 hit the same general area.

Many of us were understandably alarmed by the news, because it was a little close for comfort. But for now we're breathing a sigh of relief. Thankfully, this morning's earthquake was far enough offshore that we aren't seeing reports of injuries or damage, or a tsunami warning.

But if a magnitude-6.5 quake had occurred closer to shore or within California, the story might be different. And if it were on a Bay Area or Los Angeles fault, we could be seeing billions in property damage and injuries or even deaths.

So, this morning's quake was a very good reminder for us all that California is earthquake country, where a damaging earthquake can happen any time—and we need to be prepared. Visit www.EarthquakeAuthority.com to learn action steps you can take to prepare yourself and your family now, before the next damaging earthquake—such as getting earthquake insurance for your home, with a policy that meets your needs and fits your budget.

For Eureka homeowners, CRMP's Earthquake Brace + Bolt program is expanding in 2017 to two Eureka ZIP codes: 95501 and 95503. Owners of older houses in these ZIP codes could be eligible for payments of up to $3,000 to help pay costs of a retrofit, which can help reduce earthquake damage. Registration will be open from Jan. 25 through Feb. 27. For information about the program and to register, visit www.EarthquakeBraceBolt.com.