Sometimes people ask me, “Aren’t you afraid living in California with the possibility of an earthquake?” I always say no. The thing about an earthquake is that you don’t know when it’s coming or how bad it’s going to be. There’s no Dr. Seismic from the Earthquake Channel giving you 24 hour information about the upcoming earthquake. There are no reporters standing on the corner saying, “Yes, I can feel the tremor coming.” So it’s like an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing.
Yesterday, though, I read a CBS article titled, “California Fault Locked and Loaded for Quake.” The article goes on to talk about how the Hayward fault tripped the Great Quake of 1868 with a magnitude 6.9 rumbler that killed five people. Severe quakes have happened on the Hayward Fault every 151 years, give or take 23 years, meaning it is now into the danger zone. The area of the fault which was sparsely populated in 1868, is now home to about 2 million people. Including us.
What to do? For one thing, we should have an earthquake preparedness kit. The idea is that you should be able to survive for several days outside your house waiting for some sort of help to arrive. Remember the response to Hurricane Katrina. So water, a first aid kit, tools, bedding, sanitation supplies and important documents should be included. Beyond that, your house should be bolted to its foundation, tippy pieces of furniture should be secured, your water heater should be strapped in and you should have an emergency shutoff on your gas.
I think I’ll take this a little more seriously when we get home. Sticking one’s head in the sand is probably not the best course of action. An ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure.