Hey, SoCal. Let's talk about this earthquake.
I recently found myself up all night reading articles until my eyes almost fell out and brushing up on my earthquake safety skills I haven’t practiced since elementary school. “Why?” you may ask. Well, while browsing the good ‘ol Internet, I came across endless headlines on a Southern California resident’s worst nightmare and I just couldn’t get myself to stop clicking them all. San Andreas fault ‘locked, loaded and ready to roll’ with big earthquake, expert says. Major earthquake due to strike San Andreas Fault, expert says. Catastrophic California quake due at any time, warns seismologist. Definitely not your ideal bedtime reading options, am I right? Nonetheless, I became more and more consumed in each article. More and more anxious and paranoid.
Over the past few years, seismologists have warned that the San Andreas Fault is well overdue for a devastating earthquake that could essentially hit us any minute now. United States Geological Survey scientists have reported a 99.7% chance that an earthquake of at least magnitude 6.7 will occur within the next 30 years (KCRA). “But Miaira, 30 years is such a long time!” you say. While three decades may sound like a bit of an open timeframe, we have to remember that it is still currently impossible to predict an earthquake. Scientists are working diligently to develop better technology with capabilities of sending warnings, but even so, these would only alert us a few seconds before shaking would begin.
With that being said, since we don’t know exactly when the earthquake will hit (realistically, it could happen right this second as I type this), it’s best to be as prepared rather than paranoid. Below are a few things you can do to prepare for the quake, gain some peace of mind, and avoid obsessing over nightmare-inducing articles like I did.
1. Prepare multiple earthquake kits
Earthquake kits are essential to preparing for the big one. Flashlights, blankets, water, and nonperishable food are just a few of the items that should be included in your kits. Click here for more information on what to include in your earthquake kits. OR you can just take a trip to Costco and buy everything in sight. Yup, that should also work.
2. Make sure your home is quake-safe
Checking your home for hazardous items is vital to your safety. If you have heavy objects on top shelves, move them down. Secure large pieces of furniture to the floor and/or walls. It doesn’t take long to make sure your home is ready for a big quake, and it could be the difference between life or death. Click here to read more about what you can do to create a more quake-safe home.
3. Avoid watching overly dramatic catastrophe movies
If you’re prone to experiencing nightmares from watching scary movies, reading scary stories, etc., I definitely wouldn’t recommend getting San Andreas on Redbox, no matter how good The Rock looks in the trailer.
4. Go old fashioned with paper documents
Everyone (including myself) is so dependent on technology nowadays, but that technology may not be reliable come an earthquake. Keep hard copies of your local roadmaps and write down important phone numbers and emergency contact information. In other words, try to channel your early 1990s self before your free time was sucked away by computers and smartphones. And if you’re too young to know what times before the Internet and Twitter were like, then God bless and good luck. Let your parents be your guides.
5. Don’t panic
Be prepared, but always remember that we simply cannot control natural disasters. These things happen and we must continue to live and enjoy our lives without being consumed by fear. Let’s keep wondering what will happen next on How to Get Away with Murder and leave the majority of the worrying to the seismologists for now.
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