On January 17, 1994, I lived in Sherman Oaks, CA. At 4:31 AM on that day, I woke up to the most violent jolt I ever felt. My room lurched up & down sharply and everything was falling around me. I fumbled through the dark to get out of my apartment. The entire area was without electricity & water, and it remained out for several days.
We all huddled together outside and there were constant aftershocks. Someone had a cell phone, so we all took turns using it to call our family and let them know we were OK.
After sunrise, we went back in to inspect the damage. Luckily my building had no structural damage, but most of the contents were destroyed. There were a few minor cracks in the walls and we were able to stay in our apartments. The building next to me and several others on my block weren’t so lucky – they were uninhabitable. I lived in an older building. All of the seriously damaged buildings were newer and had underground parking which collapsed.
It took several months for everything to get back to normal.