The immediate impact an earthquake has over a community ranges from structural damage to properties, rupture in utility lines (gas, water, power, telephone), damage to roads and bridges, communication disruption, food and water storage, and illness caused by contamination, among others.
“In California, catastrophic earthquakes … are forecast to occur in the next 25 to 50 years” The Little Hoover Commission, April 2006
An earthquake is caused by the movement, breaking and/or shifting of the earth plates as it releases years or even decades of accumulated strain. This creates sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth's surface. While we know where high risk earthquake areas are, and how to measure and identify their origin point, it is, at this point in time, impossible to forecast when and where the next one will occur.
- 1925 - Santa Barbara - 6.3 magnitude
- 1978 - Santa Barbara - 5.7 magnitude
- 1989 - Loma Prieta - 7.1 magnitude
- 1994 - Northridge - 6.9 magnitude
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
It is impossible to predict when or where an earthquake will occur, so it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time. The following are ways that you and your family can prepare for this kind of hazard.
- First-Aid Kit: In any disaster, accidents and injuries can occur. If you have a FIrst-Aid Kit, you are better prepared to help your loved ones if they incur an injury.
- Ready Kit: Aside from the most important emergency items (water and food), there are a few additional items that are invaluable in times of emergency. Learn about the items that will best assist you in an emergency preparedness "ready" kit.
- Food and Water: Storing emergency food and water is the most important and essential step to ensuring your family's resiliency in a disaster situation. Do you have a supply for emergency use? Are you aware of how long that supply might last?
- Community Planning: Communities that coordinate and work together are better able to respond to and recover from a disaster.
- Have a Family Plan: What will do you in a crisis? Is your family protected and prepared for disaster?