A few years ago, at this time, the mass media was alive with all sorts of photos, facts, data, and information pertaining to the centennial celebration of the great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Now, three years later, I have yet to see anything related to this year’s anniversary on April 18th. You ask, So what? What if it happens again? (And, it will!)
What will you do for your household, your friends, and your neighbors when an equivalent magnitude quake (7.0-7.8) strikes along our local Rodgers Creek Fault zone? (Take a look at the USGS Shake Map.) Most of the east side of Petaluma will experience violent and very violent shaking; and the west side will suffer very strong if not strong shaking.
It is difficult to state how much damage might result and exactly where it will occur. But, one thing for certain – most communications systems would fail to operate and electric power would most likely be cut off. Roadways would be damaged and it will be difficult for first responders to handle all the emergency situations that might happen.
Bottom line – how will you and your neighbors cope? How will you keep in touch with the outside world as to what’s happening elsewhere? How will you communicate what’s happening in your neighborhood to the incident commander at our city’s EOC (Emergency Operations Center) and any requests for assistance? Think about it!
For starters – become better informed about earthquakes and follow the seven steps to earthquake safety that are described in the US Geological Survey (USGS) publication, “Putting down roots in Earthquake Country – Your Handbook for the San Francisco Bay Region.” An online version is available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/15/
Also check out additional information available on our local Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) webpage. Look under the “Get Prepared Links” tab at http://www.petalumanert.org
What a way to commemorate this historic event! You won’t blow out candles, but you will be better prepared and ready after reading the information on these sites.