In Preparation: Life on a Fault Lineby Molly Henneberry on Oct, 25 2011
Last Wednesday morning about 8.5 million people participated in The Great California Shakeout earthquake response drill. Ironically, that afternoon a 4.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Bay Area followed by a 3.8 magnitude aftershock. Rumors were spread that the epicenter was our very own Clark Kerr, but after further investigation it became clear that the epicenter was about 2 miles away from Berkeley.
Although two small earthquakes do not seem very threatening, scientists say that the Bay Area is over due for a large quake, and that quake will most likely occur on the Hayward Fault. In case you didn’t know, that is the fault that runs right through Memorial Stadium. In fact, I am currently sitting in a building situated directly on the fault line. As residents of Berkeley, we clearly live in the danger zone. We must therefore take the necessary precautions to ensure that in the event of “the big one” we are all well prepared. To that end, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind during your time here in the Bay Area:
First, it is important to know what to do as soon as you feel the ground stat to shake. If you are indoors, it is recommended that you drop to the floor and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or a doorway until the shaking stops. If you are outdoors, move away from trees and tall structures. If driving, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. In all situations, experts say it is best to stay where you are because many injuries result from people trying to change locations mid-earthquake.
Moreover, having an earthquake safety kit in your home is a great idea because in the event of a large earthquake, you may be without food, water, gas or electricity for several days. Experts recommend that you keep these items contained in a backpack in both your home and your car. The kit should include:
-Enough water and non-perishable food to last for 3 days
-A portable radio
-A first aid kit
-Water purification tablets
-Spare eyeglasses if necessary
-Any necessary medication
By using these tips, we will all be a little bit better off if the next “big one” hits Berkeley. This is not meant to scare you. Its sole purpose is to ensure our safety. With that said, enjoy life in the (almost) epicenter and try not to worry about it too much!