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California’s Deep Secret, Background

Dubbed the next disaster comparable to Hurricane Katrina, the impending California earthquake lies freshly on the minds of residents following the disastrous Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 that measured a 6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale.

As Californians fear the coming of the “big one” within the next thirty years, there are many ways for residents to brace for the coming quake.

Organizations such as ShakeOut and Protecting America have been set up to inform state residents of issues related to earthquake preparedness and safety. According to ShakeOut, the severity of the next quake “depends on the actions that individuals, schools, businesses, organizations, communities, and governments take to get ready.”

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Practical Preparation

There are several different ways to prepare for the coming quake. According to Protecting America, there are a few simple steps to take.

Each family in the state of California is recommended to develop their own personal earthquake plan of action.This includes a disaster preparedness plan, identifying potential hazards in the home and fixing them, purchasing or creating disaster kits, and predetermining a post quake meet-up location.

The ShakeOut organization is currently working to prepare southern Californian residents, helping them put their plans into action. At 10am on 13 November, 2008 the organization will stage a drill according to their website, will be the “largest earthquake preparedness activity in U.S. history”.

Millions of people in their homes, schools, businesses, government offices, etc. all over southern California will voluntarily “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.”

Statewide Preparations

Rather than unsafe now and sorry later, over hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent in an effort to earthquake proof California. The US Geological Survey reported, that the northern California cities of Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, etc. have issued bonds to upgrade schools, emergency shelters, command systems and search and rescue capability, etc.

Additionally, corporations such as IBM, Chevron, Hewlett-Packard, etc. have strengthened vulnerable structures, improving employee safety and the likelihood of damage occurring in an earthquake.

Courtesy of indianconsultancy.com

Courtesy of indianconsultancy.com

Since California’s last big quake, engineers have been working to improve the durability of structures. José Restrepo a professor of structural engineering at UCSD has told the university’s news that “intelligent design strategy” plays a large part in reducing damages and the amount of reinforcing steel required.

Only time can tell whether or not the state of California is properly prepared for the next big quake. Personal preparation and guided planning has played an important part in the past earthquakes and perhaps future ones as well.

Chai C

c.collins@my.westminster.ac.uk

Sources: http://quake.usgs.gov/prepare/factsheets/BayArea/

http://www.protectingamerica.org/earthquake-preparation-tips http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1324/

http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news_events/releases/release.sfe?id=508

http://www.ucop.edu/sciencetoday/article/18498 http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/15/

http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/15/

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October 19, 2008 Posted by | Chai- Int'l Current Affairs | , , , , | Leave a comment