Here in California, there are a few different types of disasters that state residents have to be prepared for. One of the big ones is earthquakes. The San Andreas Fault Line runs through most of California, with hundreds of other smaller faults lacing the state. Due to this fact, every Californian needs to be prepared for an earthquake to occur at any time.
While scientists continue to study faults and earthquakes, there is still no proven method for predicting and forecasting earthquakes. An earthquake can occur at any time, and will do so without warning. If a person uses a specific app, they may be able to get a few seconds warning but that isn’t much.
The Great Shakeout
Each October, people from earthquake prone areas around the world participate in what is known as the Great Shakeout. The Great Shakeout is an organization with the goal of helping make sure everyone is prepared to deal with an earthquake. The group sets aside a day every year, for 2019 the date is October 17th, where people from around the world pledge to practice an earthquake drill.
Most people remember practicing earthquake drills back when they were in school. It wasn’t a whole lot of fun, and most people have stopped practicing that since graduating. This is a bad thing, since repetitive practice is what helps ensure a person remembers something even when scared or in a panic.
With the sudden nature of earthquakes, it is safe to assume that people will be scared and panicked when one occurs. However, with the proper practice, a person will be more than prepared to deal with one. That is why The Great Shakeout exists to help people be better prepared.
How to React
Most people are aware of the basic safety tips for earthquakes. When the shaking starts, and a person is indoors, they should drop, cover, and hold on. This means dropping to the ground, finding cover under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or table, and then holding on until the shaking stops.
The same method applies for outdoors, though the person should first try to get away from any tall structures that could drop debris on them, then drop, cover, and hold on. While finding a safe, open space is important when outside during a quake, a person should be careful while walking through a quake so that they don’t hurt themselves.
If a person is in a vehicle when an earthquake hits, they should safely pullover to the side of the road in a clear location away from trees and power lines and wait for the shaking to stop. Once the shaking has stopped the person should proceed with caution. The road and other structures could be damaged. There can also be aftershocks.
For a more comprehensive collection of safety tips, check out one of our other articles on earthquakes here or check out the earthquake section of Ready.gov here.
Living in California means living with earthquakes. The state is one of the most earthquake prone in the country, it is part of what gives the state all of its beautiful mountains. However, the sudden shaking can be very terrifying. The aftershocks following larger quakes can be nerve-wracking.
When it comes to dealing with earthquakes, the best thing a person can do is be prepared. A person can be prepared by knowing how to react during and after an earthquake. A simple way to do this is by identifying good places to take cover. Doing this before the need arises can really pay off when an earthquake actually occurs. Better ways to be prepared include regularly running earthquake drills and having emergency plans ready to go.
Interested in learning more about The Great Shakeout and how to join the movement, check out their website here.