QuakeSmart:CA

It isn’t a matter of IF, but WHEN

DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON!

Earthquakes happen without warning. You need to know what to do when the next one strikes. The minute the ground starts to shake, you should:
DROP - Drop to the ground.
COVER - Cover your head and the back of your neck.
TAKE COVER - Take cover beneath a sturdy piece of furniture like a desk.
HOLD ON - Hold on to that piece of furniture until the shaking stops

kids ducking and covering under tablePractice makes perfect; practice makes permanent. Make sure to practice DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON once a month with your family and classmates or colleagues.

NOTE: If you or someone you know has a disability that may prevent them from getting under a desk or table, share this important PDF document that explains what to do if you are managing a disability. Developed by the Earthquake Country Alliance, the information it provides is priceless.

It isn’t a matter of “IF”, but “WHEN.”

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that Southern California has a 99.7% chance of experiencing a large, destructive earthquake in the next 30 years. 99.7%. The odds for central and northern California may be slightly less, but still hover around 97%. It’s difficult to get more likely than that.

Geologists have identified many dozens of dangerous fault lines that are either new, or haven’t been active for many years. Many of these faults are capable of producing widespread damage if they rupture. And these are only the faults we know about. As an example, in 1994 when the Northridge Earthquake struck Los Angeles, killing at 57 people, and injuring another 8,700, it occurred on a fault scientists didn’t even know existed.

When the southern end of the region’s largest fault, the San Andreas, ruptures (and it is more than 160 years overdue for just such an “adjustment”) experts predict there will be over 1,700 fires in Southern California within minutes. If a 6.6 magnitude earthquake were to strike in a large city, there is concern the entire area would be destroyed by fire. When this happens, the fire department and other life saving agencies will be overwhelmed. They’ll have no choice but to respond to the largest, most crucial emergency calls, which means the vast majority of us will only have ourselves and each other to rely upon.

Tsunami Threats are Larger than Previously Thought.

Californians don’t typically think too much about Tsunamis following a significant earthquake. Tsunamis are huge ocean waves that can reach more than 100 feet in height. They are typically caused by earthquakes; the 2004 Banda Aceh earthquake and tsunami killed about 250,000 people, while the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck offshore of Japan killed about 18,500 people and triggered a nuclear disaster. More recently, Anak Krakatau erupted and damaged local seismographic equipment. It took several days to determine that in fact a significant tsunami had occurred, although the loss of life was lower than that of Tohoku – 426 dead and 7,202 injured.  

Tsunamis increase in size as the depth of water in which they occur decreases. As water depth decreases along the California coastline, a tsunami could increase in size substantially as it approached land, becoming particularly dangerous along heavily populated coastlines, such as those in Southern California.

 Recently, scientists did a tsunami study that focused on the Ventura Basin in Southern California, which has offshore faults that may generate earthquakes of magnitude 7. The researchers developed 3D models of fault ruptures on the 31-mile-long (45 kilometers) Pitas Point and 22-mile-long (35 km) Lower Red Mountain undersea faults.

 Although homes and buildings on the coastlines directly opposite these faults would naturally be vulnerable to any tsunamis, until now, additional low-lying areas farther to the east were not necessarily expected to be in harm’s way. The new study suggests the cities of Ventura and Oxnard might be under greater threat of tsunami flooding than was previously considered.

Scientists and emergency responders coordinate their efforts to help residents understand the threat of a tsunami. The create maps, called inundation maps to help people know where the treat of a tsunami is greatest. You may search for a map in your area via this link.

Overall, the chances of an earthquake like the one the researchers simulated striking Southern California are low. “The earthquake scenario considered in the recent study was huge,” said CalFire Prevention Director Cameron Barrett. “Such a quake would be in the top three the state has recorded in hundreds of years. That’s a good reason to consider the possibilities, as we are often dismissive of the power mother nature can render.”

The Time to Prepare is Now!

Dr. Lucy Jones recently retired from the USGS, and many other experts, say many communities within the State of California aren’t ready for a major earthquake. As just one example, should a major quake strike the City of Los Angeles, it could:
  • Impact as many as 10 million people
  • Injure of kill as many as 11,000 people
  • Cause $20 billion in damages
  • Effect major infrastructures for months, including water, power, Internet, and telephone

As Dr. Jones says, “everyone needs to store more water, and they need to learn how to use a fire extinguisher.”

The California Fire Prevention Organization provides education and awareness materials for communities throughout the State of California.

#shakeout | #didyoufeelit? | #thebigone | #earthquake! | #drop-cover-holdon

Read More from the California Fire Prevention Organization

Our American Red Cross Partners

The California Fire Prevention Organization (California Fire Prevention Organization) enjoys a rewarding relationship with the American Red Cross. For more than a year, we’ve been partnered with the Red Cross Los Angeles Region, supporting their “sound the alarm” home fire safety initiative. There are some important differences between our organizations. It’s that diversity that makes our...
Read More

Installing Free Smoke Alarms Year Round

The education and public safety teams at California Fire Prevention Organization conduct home inspections and install free smoke alarms in an ongoing basis year round. From a metrics point of view, the program is measured by the number of alarms installed and people impacted. But, there is so much more to the story.  These visits...
Read More

Are Wildfire Residents Ready for the Rain?

Weather forecasts for the coming week predict significant rainfall across California. It should put to bed the last embers from the wildfires that roared across the State during the past 100 days. More than a half inch of rain an hour could launch the next disaster for those affected by the recent fires: flooding and...
Read More

Smoke Alarm Holiday Gifts for CA Fire Agencies

California Fire Prevention Organization, a unit of the California Fire Prevention Organization helped to create a safer holiday season with distribution of fire prevention kits to a number of California fire departments. “California has been hit with a remarkable number of wildfires, an increase in structure fires and in fatalities this year,” noted California Fire...
Read More

New PSA Series for Riverside County Fire Chiefs

The California Fire Prevention Organization video team has developed a series of public service announcements for the Riverside County Fire Chiefs. The short video clips cover kitchen fires and anti-drowning messaging. Drowning has become a year-round tragic reality for many communities. And, as most house fires start in the kitchen, getting the word out about...
Read More

More Fatalities as NorCal Fires Impact Thousands

Fire crews on Wednesday made progress, but in the midst of that good news, another fatality was discovered. The death toll related to the ongoing NorCa fires has now reached 42. Fire officials from CalFire confirmed a 23rd death in Sonoma County. That’s 22 from the Tubbs fire and one from the Nuns fire. In addition,...
Read More

Napa, Calistoga, Santa Rosa Fire Info

Share this post with your friends and neighbors on Facebook and Twitter. There are a number of fires burning in Northern California at the moment. These are dangerous fires, and anyone living anywhere near these incidents should take immediate action to protect their families and pets. Firefighters will take care of property to the extent...
Read More

Fireworks Can Burn You!

Every year, important messages about fireworks are ignored by thousands of people, and often, the result is an unhappy ending. Burns and the scars they leave can last a lifetime. Children are most often those who are injured or killed. Fireworks are fun to watch and represent our country’s independence. MySafe:CA believes that on  Independence Day...
Read More

Are You Prepared This September?

September is National Preparedness Month. You know that family escape plan you keep meaning to draw up and finalize? You know the one, where you make sure you’ve mapped out two ways out of your bedroom and two ways out of you home. And you’ve chosen a safe meeting place where every one in your...
Read More