At approximately 10:51.03 a.m. (our time – EDT), USGS reported that a 5.9 Mag. earthquake struck an area 4 miles from Mineral, VA (in Louisa County) which is 41 miles from Richmond, VA and 83 miles from Washington, DC. Parts of the Pentagon, White House, and Capitol were evacuated.

Earlier today, the largest earthquake to strike Colorado in almost 40 years (5.3 Mag.) shook hundreds of people near the New Mexico border. (Almost nine miles southwest of Trinidad and 180 miles south of Denver.) That quake followed two smaller ones that hit that area earlier in the day.

Those of us who live in California “earthquake country,” must be asking, “:Are we next?”
(PLEASE NOTE: the purpose of all these Emergency Preparedness blogs that have been posted since Katrina (2005), and those that will soon appear in connection with next month’s annual “Emergency Preparedness Month,” are meant “To PREPARE you, Not SCARE you.”) That said; when such disasters strike the Bay Area, again, there are many volunteer organizations and individuals ready to swing into action … in addition to the professional first-responders, activated by various government agencies.

One local example: our Petaluma Community Emergency Radio Network (CERN). If these recent earthquakes had happened along our local Rodgers Creek Fault Zone, those licensed amateur radio operators who were available and had their radios nearby would have activated Simplex frequency 146.535 and listened for a Net Control Operator to step up to the plate and coordinate neighborhood messages related to the disaster. Those messages, in turn, would have been evaluated and the “emergency” messages would have been transmitted to the City’s EOC (Emergency Operations Center), after it had been activated by government officials and the radio room opened and staffed by Sonoma County ACS certified radio operators (Auxiliary Communications Service.)

BTW, it’s only a coincidence; but tonight at 7:00 p.m. (1900 Hours), our Petaluma Neighborhood HamWatch volunteers will conduct one of their periodic Simplex frequency drills, in order to practice emergency message handling procedures and protocols. Stay tuned for more Emergency Preparedness and Readiness blogs over the coming weeks. Remember to stay calm, stay cool, and to be ready. (73, KI6GOO)