Now, all this carrying on over a 5.4 earthquake is just silly. For most California residents a 5.4 earthquake is a lot like a tropical storm is to Florida. With a 5.4 earthquake things get shaken up a bit. But there usually isn't much damage. Like with Tropical storms, for the most part everything just gets wet.
For the uninitiated I have stolen from Erin a guide to understanding earthquake intensities:
A 3.0 is a CalPoly 'cause you have to be in the room with a seismograph to notice it.
A 3.5 is a Dish Rattler
A 4.0 is a Dog Barker because the dog barks like she does when the garbage truck goes by or a mouse farts behind the baseboard. Cats will hide in the closet and demand that Something Be Done; natural political action committees, most cats.
A 4.5 is a Car Alarm for obvious reasons, though you have to be close by for it to trigger. They sell a gadget to hang on your wall that works just like a car alarm; it scares hell out of you for no reason at the oddest times.
A 5.0 is a Hug-a-Tourist. That's when a perfect stranger in the mall grabs you and hangs on for dear life and you know they're from out of town.
A 5.5 is a Ceiling Check, all the natives and people who've been here for twenty years or more will look up then at the nearest door, just to make sure they know where it is.
A 6.0 is a Kneehole, you get down on the floor and scoot under your desk and you pull your idiot friend from Iowa who's still looking at the ceiling under with you.
A 6.5 is a T-Shirt Slogan, you can buy one that says, "I survived the such-and-such earthquake" afterwards.
A 7.0 is a Wake-Up-The-Governor to call the National Guard; they may need to go dig some unlucky people out from under collapsed buildings and freeways.
A 7.5 is what Californians call a Real Earthquake.
An 8.0 is The Big One.