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How prepared is California for the Big One

  1. Aug 7, 2008 #1
    how prepared is California for the "Big One"

    I was in Los Angeles during the recent 5.4 earthquake and it got me asking - how prepared is California for the "Big One" that's supposed to come soon? Also, I've heard that cities like Chicago and NY are also at risk for high-magnitude earthquakes, even though it may not seem like it. How prepared are those cities, at the moment, for such catastrophes? I mean, what kind of buildings would be at risk?

    What about in cities like Seattle, Sydney, Auckland, and HK?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2008 #2


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    Re: Earthquakes

    Here in the Silicon Valley area of Northern California (SF Bay area, South Bay, East Bay, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, etc.), we work hard at emergency preparedness. That doesn't mean that we are totally prepared, but we are working toward being as prepared as we can be.

    Most of our cities have active CERT groups (Community Emergency Response Teams), which are trained by the local fire departments in disaster preparedness, light search and rescue, basic firefighting, triage, etc. We also have several Medical Reserve Corps groups, which will be providing medical assistance to the city resources after a disaster. We have some very active HAM radio groups, who train and drill with the CERT groups and the city EOCs (Emergency Operations Centers), as well as conducting our own communication activities.

    We are pretty well prepared now, and working hard toward being even better prepared for the next big earthquake. The Hayward Fault, which runs through the East Bay Area (where I live) is due for a pretty big quake here soon. It has a pretty regular quake schedule, and it is just about time....




  4. Aug 7, 2008 #3
    Re: Earthquakes

    I think, as far 'when it does happen' , people have/get more time to personally ready themselves for tornadoes as they're still more 'forecastable' than earthquakes, even in the 'minutes' area.
  5. Aug 7, 2008 #4


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    Re: Earthquakes

    No one is ever really prepared one supposes. But certainly higher risk areas have surely developed plans to deal with what may come.

    Chicago and New York are not quite as likely for the kind mid-plate quakes like the New Madrid style quake in the 1800's as those are fairly infrequent though still a possibility.

    Here is an interesting link about earthquakes:

    As you can see from the map Seattle, HK and Auckland are more likely than Sydney which is somewhat removed from the prime areas of earthquake presentation along the plate edge.
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