View Original Notice ? ShakeOut Day: Here are eight-plus things you can do now to get ready for an earthquake
Thursday, Oct. 21, is International ShakeOut Day, so here are a few quake related things to consider.
We know we here in California are prone to large earthquakes, we just don’t know when. So preparation is key to dealing with the disaster when it comes. In 2020, 6.5 million Californians participated in the ShakeOut by doing drills to prepare for a major magnitude temblor.
Remembering Loma Prieta
On Oct. 17, 1989, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Bay Area. The Loma Prieta earthquake was broadcast live into living rooms across the nation just before a scheduled World Series game. The quake lasted about 15 seconds and the epicenter was along a segment of the San Andreas Fault that is 11 miles beneath Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz mountains, 60 miles south of San Francisco. Geologists later said the fault there slipped as much as 7 feet.
In total, 63 people were killed and 3,757 injured. More than 28,000 structures were damaged — a property loss of $6 billion to $10 billion.
The ShakeOut began in California in 2008 and has grown into an international program. The first lesson in preparation is “Drop, Cover and Hold on,” but here are a few other things to prepare for:
- Learn to use a fire extinguisher.
- Put together an emergency supplies kit.
- Know how to shut off utilities.
- Establish local and out-of-area emergency contacts
- Participate in first-aid classes or community response team training.
GAS: If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas using the outside main valve, if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. Caution: If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.
WATER: Water quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve.
ELECTRICITY: Locate you electrical circuit box. For your safety, always shut off all the individual circuits before shutting off the main circuit.
Forget about the doorway.
Over the years, methods of safety during an earthquake have changed and you might need to update your plan. More tips at ShakeOut.org.
After 15 years of planning and development, the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system is now available to more than 50 million people in California, Oregon and Washington, the most earthquake-prone region in the contiguous U.S.
The alert system began in California in 2019, expanding to Oregon in March and Washington in May. Alerts can come via cellphone like an Amber alert for quakes that are magnitude 5 or greater. Some apps might give alerts for lower magnitudes.
How the system works:
- When an earthquake occurs, it sends out three types of waves: P-waves, S-waves and surface waves. The P-wave is the initial wave detected by seismometers. It travels the fastest.
- Sensors detect the P-wave and immediately transmit data to an earthquake analysis center, where the location and size of the quake are determined. The surface and S-waves are the wave types that mark the start of potential damage from shaking. They follow the P-wave.
- An alert from the analysis center is immediately transmitted to computers or mobile phones. Using GPS coordinates, the system calculates the arrival time of the shaking.
Sources: California Department of Insurance, California Earthquake Authority, USGS, Southern California Earthquake Center, ShakeOut.org