Have you ever experienced an earthquake? Have you ever asked yourself what would you if you ever were caught in one? While its common for most people not to worry about this type natural disaster, the last few weeks have left many people throughout the west coast with more than a little pent-up seismic stress
And it's making many other people wonder, is my family prepared for an earthquake?
On the morning of the 4th of July, without any warning Ridgecrest, California residents were rocked by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that damaged buildings and led to widespread outages. This was followed the next day by California’s largest earthquake in decades. A 7.1 magnitude earthquake that left structural fires and injuries throughout southern California.
This wouldn’t just be the end to a quiet period in the states long seismic history but the beginning of a chain reaction that has led to more than a 1,000 small quakes and tremors throughout California in the last 3 weeks.
However, California isn’t the only state getting rocked by earthquakes. Less than a week after the first two quakes hit California a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit Seattle in the early morning of July 12th, with a second smaller earthquake measuring 3.5 reported minutes later.
This has left many resident and experts with the inevitable fear and question of when “The Big One” will arrive. For time now, scientists have warned about “The Big One” an earthquake that could shake the Pacific Northwest, that could potentially affect 7 million people. Since California isn’t new to earthquakes, neither are the possibilities of dangers to come.
A few facts on earthquakes:
- Earthquakes unfortunately can occur at all time all over the world. Natural events such as volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts can cause earthquakes, but the majority of naturally occurring earthquakes are triggered by movement of the earth's plates.
- The earth's surface consists of constantly moving plates. The pressure increases from shifting plates and causes the crust to break. This break allows stress to be released, which moves through the earth in the form of waves (aka earthquakes).
- It's not the shaking ground itself that takes lives during an earthquake. It's the destruction of man-made structures and the instigation of other natural disasters such as tsunamis, avalanches and landslides.
The key to safety during these natural disasters is learning how to be prepared. What should you do?
- Make an emergency evacuation plan and discuss it with your family.
- Know emergency plans for your place of work and children’s schools.
- Check emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply—especially medical supplies. Be sure to keep this in a location where anyone can retrieve it.
If you have the chance take a first aid course, you never know how it can help you to be prepared since earthquakes are unpredictable situations.
Are you in the market for a new emergency kit?
I’d recommend the Earthquake Disaster kit. It contains items from 5 key areas any emergency kit should have.
1. Food and Water: Must provide you with adequate nutrition for one day without access to additional supplies.
2. Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage you'll have access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.
3. Shelter and Warmth: Protection from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.
4. Tools: For navigation, transport, personal protection, or other troubles.
5. Hygiene and Sanitation: Staying clean to protect against infection and disease.
Remember to always stay stocked up and prepared in case of unpredictable emergencies.