Tag Archives: Earthquake

  • The Hayward Fault is Overdue for a Massive Quake

    “The reality is a major quake is expected on the [Hayward] fault ‘any day now.’”

    Hayward FaultBay Area residents beware. Tom Brocher, a US Geological Survey Scientist, thinks such a quake is a very real possibility. In fact, the US Geological Survey (USGS) website describes how USGS scientists refer to the Hayward fault as a “tectonic time bomb.” But does anybody know the time it’s set to go off? Probably not. But just because we don’t know exactly when it can happen, we know that it could still happen at any time. That’s why the USGS and other organizations “are working together with new urgency to help prepare Bay Area communities for this certain future quake.”

    You may have heard about the 4.0 earthquake that rattled the East Bay area in California last Tuesday at 2:41 in the morning, and was just one of many earthquakes commonly occurring around the bay area. It produced 13 aftershocks. Although these aftershocks were all very minimal, this fault has been quite an active geological threat. Brocher said they “keep a close eye on the Hayward Fault because it does sit in the heart of the Bay Area and when we do get a big earthquake on it, it’s going to have a big impact on the entire Bay Area.”

    1868 Image - USGS.gov 1868 Hayward Fault earthquake damages the Alameda County Courthouse - USGS.gov

    The last time the Hayward fault released a big quake was way back in 1868. There were thirty people killed and a lot of property damaged. But that was nearly 150 years ago, and the local population is now 100 times bigger than it was back then. How many more lives will be impacted when this next major quake does happen?

    According to Brocher, major earthquakes along this fault system occur about every 140 years. And, just like the behemoth of the Cascaida subduction zone, we are overdue for a big one. Don’t worry, though. This most recent 4.0 quake will “not likely…have much of an impact…on the likelihood of a major earthquake occurring on the same fault.” Rather, Brocher (along with the rest of USGS) is merely stating that there’s an earthquake coming, and like it not (or believe it or not), you could be seeing it any time.

    Speaking of time…did you notice the time when the latest Hayward fault quake hit? It was at 2:41 in the morning. So when I say “any time,” I mean that quite literally. You could see (or feel, rather) this earthquake any time of day, night, or, as we see here, in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually sleeping at that hour (I say usually, but with a newborn waking up every hour or two, chances are I’ll be awake no matter what time an earthquake hits).

    Hayward Fault can happen at any time tweetDespite the concern of the “certain future quake,” as USGS calls it, they sent out a reminder tweet on Twitter stating that “although a Hayward fault quake CAN happen any time it does NOT mean it’s expected any day now.” So don’t worry, the Hayward fault quake is not destined to go off in the next day or two. Although it most certainly could, what they are stressing is the fact that, sooner or later, that fault line is going to produce a very violent earthquake. They just want you to be ready for it.

    So, how does that impact you? Well, for starters, I do hope you will begin (or continue) preparing. Whether or not the Hayward fault quake happens tomorrow, the next day, or years after you move to the other side of the country, your earthquake kit will help you when you need it. And if not for an earthquake, you can most certainly use it for some other disaster, too (they’re versatile like that).

    Because you could be sleeping during an earthquake, make sure to secure wall hangings, decorations, or anything else that could fall on you in the middle of the night should the shaking and quaking start. That being said, you might as well secure anything that could fall down in your house and become a danger. Pictures, bookshelves, and even kitchen cupboards should be secured.

    While I understand that this news isn’t, well, new, it is still important that we be reminded of potential disasters so we can get our emergency prep together. Who’s really to say when this next big earthquake will strike? What I do know is, though, we all need to continue preparing, because sure as day (or night), if we aren’t prepared, that’s when the disaster will happen. So go on out, get yourself an earthquake survival kit, and be prepared for whatever big one hits your neighborhood.

     

    Hayward Fault - Be Prepared

     

    How are you prepared for an earthquake? Let us know in the comments below!

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios Tagged With: USGS, Bay Area, Hayward fault line, Earthquake

  • Natural Inconveniences - Are You Prepared?

    Now that we’ve re-hashed the super-massive, Pacific Northwest-destroying super-earthquake (courtesy of the Cascadia subduction zone), let’s talk about another, just-as-important earthquake.

    Natural Inconveniences - Tiny Epic EarthquakesIt happened on July 1, 2015 in Nova Scotia, Canada, right in the middle of their Canada Day celebrations. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and Natural Resources Canada reported there was no damage. After all, “none would be expected” by the small, 3.6 earthquake.

    Wait, so why are we even talking about this small-scale earthquake if it’s of no consequence?

    Because it is.

    You see, many people assume that their area is immune from earthquakes, and so they don’t prepare. But as we can see from this example, earthquakes do happen, even if we don’t think they ever would.

    Mike Springer was at his home when the aforementioned earthquake struck. He was quite surprised at the occurrence.

    “Holy mackerel,” he said, as reported by CBC New. “I didn’t think we had earthquakes in Nova Scotia.”

    Welp, turns out you do. But don’t worry, Mr. Springer, you’re not an anomaly.

    Shortly after the major Nepal quake, an extremely rare 4.2 earthquake shook up Michigan. According to a Michigan Live report, this quake was unusual because “Michigan is not on a major plate.” Which goes to show that we can’t necessarily predict the regions in which earthquakes will occur. Ironically, footage of the shaking was captured on video during a pastor’s appeal to donate to those effected in Kathmandu from the Nepal Earthquake. You can see that video at this link.

    Although both these recent earthquakes mentioned have been small and the effects were moot, it helps us realize that, no matter where we are, we are at risk for a potential disaster. It’s not just the Nepal earthquakes or the Cascadia subduction zones we need to be prepared for. We need to be prepared for the smallest inconvenience. After all, if we’re not prepared for an inconvenient natural disturbance, it could end up being more than just a little proverbial thorn in the side.

    Power Outage with CandlesWith the right magnitude or with the epicenter in the right spot, you could be dealing without power. Do you have your alternate energy sources? Earthquakes don’t wait until it’s convenient. One could strike as you’re getting ready for bed, so if you don’t have an extra light or some source of power, brushing your teeth could be done in the dark.

    Speaking of brushing your teeth…What if a water main broke because of the quake? Sure, you could go without brushing your teeth for a morning or night, but that’s not the best for your teeth – or those around you (no offense, but it’s true for all of us). Having an extra source of water could come in really handy then.

    Essentially, we need to be ready for anything. While you may not think that earthquakes happen where you live, you have just seen two examples of quakes that, according to probability, should never have happened in your lifetime. And yet it did. Fortunately, they were just small ones and no harm was done. But before a bigger one happens that should also never happen, go on out and get prepared.

     

    How have you prepared for those natural inconveniences?

     

    Earthquake Banner - Call to Action

    Posted In: Planning Tagged With: Nova Scotia, inconvenience, Earthquake, natural disaster

  • The Desolation of Cascadia...and How to Prepare

    |5 COMMENT(S)

    So, the Pacific Northwest is going to get pummeled by a super-massive earthquake followed by a monstrous tsunami. Worst case scenario, everything West of Interstate 5 will be unrecognizably devastated.

    When I last left you following my latest post about the forthcoming destruction of the Pacific Northwest thanks to the Cascadia subduction zone (check out that article here), I promised to come back and talk about the implications such a disaster could cause. But before we jump into that, let me sum up what we’ve discussed thus far:

    • Cascadia subduction zone - Japan tsunami 2011 Japan tsunami, 2011 - Australian Geographic

      The Cascadia subduction zone is 72 years overdue for a super-massive earthquake, bigger even than what the San Andreas Fault could dish out.

    • FEMA asserts that everything west of the I-5 will be destroyed from Northern California up into British Columbia.
    • A monstrous tsunami will come about 15-30 minutes after the earth stops rumbling.
    • Devastation

    Now that you’re caught up, let’s talk implications.

    Cascadia subduction zone - Hurricane Sandy Power Poles Hurricane Sandy left millions without power

    As reported in the New Yorker article, if this quake were to happen, “the I-5 corridor…will take between one and three months after the earthquake to restore electricity, a month to a year to restore drinking water and sewer service,” and the list goes on. Not taking into consideration the amount of time it would take to rebuild the major infrastructure, it will require an estimated 18 months for health care facilities to come back online. During that year and a half, you’ll want to be prepared to take care of yourself and your loved ones, because emergency services are going to be reserved for the worst-case patients.

    But that’s just around the I-5. Towards the coast, things will be even worse. With a one to three year wait for drinking water and sewage systems to be back in action, you will definitely want a few alternate sources of water. In this case, water filters and desalinators would be a great option, as they are portable and can supply you with clean drinking water even if you have to evacuate your home (which you more than likely will).

    But the setbacks don’t stop there. With that much damage, FEMA expects that U.S. taxpayers will have to cover at least 75% of the damage. They wouldn’t be surprised if taxpayers even had to pay 100% of disaster recovery. Because of this and other massive expenses, “the economy of the Pacific Northwest will collapse.” Even if you live in the worst-hit location, having an emergency food storage will help see you through a season where you may not have any income for quite some time.

    I’ll be honest, the New Yorker article referenced here and in my last post was pretty disheartening. The author went into great detail as to the nature of this disaster, the history of the Cascadia subduction zone, and how the adjacent regions would be effected. It was a well-researched piece of writing, however, and it most certainly stirred the pot. But did it achieve its purpose?

    You betcha.

    It got people talking. As the good men of G.I. Joe say, “Knowing is half the battle,” and that article provided you with 50% of what you need to win against a devastating earthquake. The other 50%? Implementation.

    Cascadia subduction zone Cascadia subduction zone - Carleton College

    In response to the New Yorker article and all the hullabaloo surrounding it, FEMA released a statement in which they didn’t apologize for a single word that was published. Instead, they gave it their proverbial stamp of approval. They also agreed with the masses of commenters in that “the science in the article isn’t new” regarding the Cascadia subduction zone and its threat. This is something we’ve been warned about again and again. Most importantly, however, they are glad the article got your attention. That’s “the first step to get better prepared,” they said, “because you are better informed.”

    Don’t let this discussion be just another meal-time conversation that’s forgotten by tomorrow’s breakfast. FEMA admonishes people everywhere to “take it further by making a family emergency plan and starting your emergency supply kit.”

    You know what’s coming, now go do something to prepare.

    As FEMA suggested, get an emergency kit. We have plenty to choose from, as well as individual items to help supplement your already-existing kits. Do you have an alternate energy source? You should, because it’ll be a long time before you get power back if you’re stuck in the effected region.

    Aside from the traditional preparations – including food, water, and power – one commenter queried how many people knew important phone numbers should they lose their phone? It may be hard to memorize all the numbers you need to know, but there are free apps you can download for your devices, such as CS Matrix It for Android and Contacts to Excel for iOS. These apps will help import your phone contacts to your computer, and from there you can print out your contacts list so you can always have them with you should you need them.

    The Cascadia subduction zone is a real threat, but once again, if you’re prepared you’ll be in a much better position than if you’re caught unawares.

    FEMA did not apologize for the forward nature of the New Yorker regarding this looming disaster, nor should they. They want you to know what to expect, so you can be better prepared. In lieu of that, I would like to reiterate the importance of acting on what you know. You read the article because you were interested. Now that you are aware of what could happen, go and prepare for it.

    Even if you don’t live near the Cascadia subduction zone and the area in question, there are plenty of other disasters that could affect you. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start preparing today!

     

    Are you preparing for “the big one” in your area? Let us know how!

     

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    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Emergency Kits, Planning Tagged With: desolation, cascadia subduction zone, Cascadia, the really big one, the big one, be prepared, Tsunami, Earthquake

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