Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Shakeout.Org Twitter Chat On Earthquake Preparedness



# 10,343


I’m remiss in not having mentioned this last week, but tomorrow Shakeout.org will hold the second in a series of 7 weekly twitter chats on on earthquake preparedness.   Luckily you can still search Twitter using #SecureYourSpace to review the highlights of last week’s chat.

The publication last week of the  New Yorker article The Really Big One: An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when - along, I suspect, with the release of the movie San Andreas - has helped raise earthquake awareness this summer.

While it’s been more than 20 years since the last major destructive quake in the United States (Northridge 1994), the geological clock keeps on ticking down towards the next big seismic event.  Another big quake is inevitable.


Most Americans think first of California when we talk about `the big one’, but as I wrote four years ago  in Just A Matter Of Time, the Pacific Northwest is perhaps even more vulnerable. A couple of video links from that blog include:


A short demonstration of an earthquake model by University of Washington Seismologist William Steele in this KOMO News feature.


 Next stop, a simulation from the Washington State Department of Transportation that shows the likely effects on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, part of Washington's State Route 99, and adjacent seawall from a 7.0 earthquake.



As you watch this simulation, remember, this is for a 7.0 magnitude quake.  A not unreasonable 8.0 quake would be 33 times stronger, and a not impossible 9.0 quake a thousand times stronger.  Of course, the location, depth, and duration of any quake would affect the impact as well.


The Pacific coast isn't only major U.S. region that lies in an active seismic zone; Memphis, St. Louis, Charleston, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City  . . . even New York City, all have varying degrees of seismic risks.  


Seismic Hazard Map – Credit USGS


Working to improve earthquake awareness, preparation, and safety is Shakeout.org, which promotes yearly earthquake drills and education around the country (see NPM13: A Whole Lotta Shakeouts Going On). 



If you live in any seismically active region (and that includes most of the nation) you need to visit Shakeout.org  to learn how you, your family and your co-workers can take part in this year’s important earthquake drills.


Disasters happen every year in this country, and can affect millions of people,  which is why FEMA, READY.GOV, and many other agencies constantly promote personal, family, and business preparedness. 



Basic kit : NWS radio, First Aid Kit, Lanterns, Water & Food & cash


As a bare minimum, every home should have no less than a 72-hour supply of emergency food and water, for all of its occupants (including pets!).  Here in the United States many agencies and organizations recommend that households work towards having a 10-day supply of food, water, and emergency supplies on hand.


In When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough, I highlighted  a colorful, easy-to-follow, 100 page `survival guide’ released by Los Angeles County, that covers everything from earthquake and tsunami preparedness, to getting ready for a pandemic.


While admittedly California-threat specific, this useful guide may be downloaded here (6.5 Mbyte PDF).


September is National Preparedness Month, and we’ll be taking an extended look at preparedness issues at that time, but now is the time to prepare for your next emergency. 


For more on earthquakes, and earthquake preparedness, you may wish to revisit:


Dr. Lucy Jones: `Imagine America Without Los Angeles’

California Quakes : Concrete Concerns

Estimating The Economic Impact Of A San Andreas Quake

USGS/OGS Joint Statement On Increased Earthquake Threat To Oklahoma

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