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Earthquake Preparedness: Are You Ready For 6.7?

Earthquake Preparedness: Are You Ready For 6.7?

To be honest, I am not prepared for the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that has been predicted to occur with more than 99 percent certainty within the next 30 years somewhere in California.

I have some “survival” supplies at home, but this is primarily because of my interest in camping. I have tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, flash lights, waterproof matches, propane and other camping gear I could use following an earthquake. I can filter and sterilize water if I need to, and I have enough canned food to last a few days. Most importantly I have a few bottles of Chardonnay and a deck of cards to pass the time.

A recent report sponsored by the US Geological Survey, the California Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center concludes that a 6.7 magnitude earthquake will occur along one of the many faults in California in the next 30 years (99.7 percent chance).
Like I said, I am not prepared for such a catastrophic earthquake, but we can all take some fairly simple steps to get prepared for such a disaster.

Educate yourself. Read information available from the U.S. Geological Survey or any other agency tasked with public safety in an emergency (such as the California Office of Emergency Services). Many cities also provide free community outreach training, such as the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team training.

Prepare your family. When the next big one strikes, how will you communicate with your family? What about your pets? Where will you go if your home is destroyed? Make an emergency plan for your family. Many of the agencies mentioned above have information on emergency planning.

Prepare for “72 hours.” The conventional wisdom recommends stocking 72 hours worth of supplies including 1 gallon of water per day per person, extra medications and food for your family and pets. Lists of recommended supplies are available online.

Prepare your home. Take steps to protect your home, such as securing your water heater, cabinets and wall hangings to minimize the damage from an earthquake. You should also consider earthquake insurance (if the astronomical premiums donít send you to the hospital).

Do you have an ‘earthquake preparedness’ kit at home, in your car, or office? What are you doing to get prepared? Add your comment below.

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Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with over 10 years of experience working in the environmental and occupational health field. In addition to writing, he is currently the Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a medium-sized company that has been voted one of Fortune Magazineís Best Places to Work For and one of CRO Magazineís 100 Best Corporate Citizens. He lives in California with his wife and adopted pound puppy.

42 comments

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8:48AM PST on Feb 6, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

6:40AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

72 hours?? After Katrina it was weeks.

4:45AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:43AM PDT on May 1, 2011

KT Bray, quite true. One day the Mississippi River Basin will be a nation Divided. Look at the Grand Canyon. When is it's next big quake going to happen? Earth quakes can happen anywhere at any given time but cannot be predicted. So enjoy life. I'm a person, if it happens it happens and it can't be stopped.

7:48AM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Keep lots of bottled water and canned foods, flash lights, batteries, battery operated fans, radios.

7:47AM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

we don't really have to worry about earthquakes here in new jersey thought they do have small ones sometimes, but I'm from san francisco and we sure need to be prepared there.

9:23PM PDT on Mar 15, 2011

It is very important for everyone to be prepared as they possibly can be for any type of disaster.
Living in the tropics with cyclones, torrential rains, long distances between us, and only generated power for a few hours per day, makes us be prepared as best as possible.

So many folk shocked me when shopping in preparation of C.Yasi!
They were stocking up on meat and vegetable products???
When I asked why they weren't stocking dehydrated and canned food, they thought I was mad.

So then what happened to their fresh food when the power went of for 4 to now 8 weeks?

Who was the 'mad' one now?

1:35PM PST on Dec 27, 2010

Yes indeed as ready as I can be..for I refuse to live in fear but I have already about 4 yrs ago understand the dilemma of this contradiction in California going into the Ocean and Lake Tahoe will be our Beach front so be it! then we can go back home to where we can live without all this fear.

4:23AM PST on Dec 27, 2010

Thanks for the info.

1:59AM PDT on Oct 9, 2010

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