The Big One: It’s not If, but When . . . a natural disaster will strike.


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Here in California

Earthquake fault

This fault is quiet for now . . .

We happen to live in Southern California where earthquakes are more frequent than in other parts of the U.S or some parts of the world.  We know, for example, that a major quake along the San Andreas fault (which runs right through the City of Los Angeles) is due sometime in the not too distant future.  We know we have to be prepared.  People who live in Northern California have already had a major earthquake over a decade ago (the Loma Prieta fault) but the San Andreas has been largely quiet since the 1908 disaster that destroyed most of San Francisco.

In the Northwest

More and more in the news lately — the Cascadia subduction zone.  This fault will impact Washington and the whole Pacific Northwest. And to quote the news, ” A damaging earthquake is inevitable on this fault.”

In the Midwest

If you live in the Midwest near the Mississippi River, you could be at risk from one of the most dangerous faults of all.  The New Madrid fault in the central United States is among the most active in the country, running from St. Louis to Memphis.

And those of you who live in fracking country have become increasingly aware of the –heretofore small — earthquakes in your region.

In the Mid-Atlantic

And, imagine the surprise of people living in the Mid-Atlantic area when Washington D.C. experienced a significant – but non-lethal – 5.9 earthquake on August 23, 2011

The fact of the matter is that we know all too little about the existence of earthquake faults around the world and have even less ability to forecast their activity level.

But, even in the apparent absence of potential earthquake dangers, we have more than enough risks – from tornados, wildfires and floods to hurricanes, industrial accidents and terrorist attacks – to be concerned with.

The bottom line: we have to take at least some responsibility for our own survival and well being.  There is only so much our government agencies can do.

Action Item:  What you can do is spend some serious think time analyzing your day and your environment.  List the problems you will encounter if a major emergency hits at different times.  Identify the critical points of your daily routine.

Joe Krueger
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team

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