A Wake-up Call

Star marks the spot where recent seismic activity took place: the San Francisco Bay Area.

Many of us in the San Francisco Bay Area were jolted awake yesterday morning by a pair of earthquakes within eight seconds of each other (the first a 3.5 magnitude earthquake and the second a 4.0 magnitude earthquake) along the Hayward Fault. Thankfully it was a minor shake along the precarious fault line, so most of us suffered little or no damage.

But we all know that sooner or later there will be an earthquake that does more than interrupt an REM sleep cycle. The trick is to do what we can now…before the earth moves with more conviction than it did yesterday. Most of us know this, but even with this knowledge, do nothing. We suspect it is because there is a misconception that being prepared for an earthquake is analogous to building the Great Wall of China. The truth of the matter is we are more prepared than we think and once we believe this, taking our baseline of preparedness to the next level becomes a lot easier to accomplish.

Anti-tip straps can save your TV from making a big mess during an earthquake.

What can you do? Here are a few immediate actions:

  • Visit 72hours.org and assess your current supplies
  • Register for San Francisco’s text-based notification system AlertSF
  • Look into becoming a trained member of San Francisco NERT
  • Follow DEM on twitter @sf_emergency and like SFDEM on Facebook
  • Download DEM’s new preparedness smart phone app SF Heroes (currently for iPhone and soon to be available on Droid this spring)
  • Practice drop, cover and hold on, which is the safest thing to do during an earthquake
  • Learn how to prevent earthquake ‘messes’ by playing the Beat the Quake game

Although yesterday morning’s rattle woke many of us from slumber, we hope it will effect more than just going back to sleep.  We at DEM urge you to use yesterday morning’s earthquakes as a call to action to build upon your preparedness foundation. And in doing so, enjoy the peace of mind that comes from helping you and your family be ready for an earthquake, or any emergency—big or small.


About sfdemkristin

A strong believer that we are more prepared than we think, Kristin advocates it is not a looming disaster that inspires us to prepare, but rather the peace of mind that comes from having taken a few simple steps in advance of an emergency to take care of our loved ones. Kristin can be found on Twitter @kristinlhogan.

Posted on March 6, 2012, in Preparedness, Recovery, Resilience, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Drop cover and hold link is broken 😦 I’m so lost.

  2. Hi, Tristan. Thanks for catching that! It’s fixed now.

  3. As a native of California, whenever there’s a little rumble, people are reminded that they “should have an emergency kit” or “totally need to get one” but then after a few days forget about it or dismiss it as being too much trouble. Hell, my neighbor asked me to help her make one after last year’s big quake in Japan jogged her memory (forget the fact that we live on the Hayward fault). I have her a list of things she probably already has and she never followed up. Seriously, it doesn’t take that much time and if you use common household items instead of going to an “earthquake kit store,” it doesn’t cost that much.

    Finally, remember that an emergency kit will come in handy for events other than an earthquake 😉

    Check out FEMA’s site for a good primer in putting your kit together…


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