Monday, December 3, 2018

How Much Can Happen in a Minute? The Anchorage Earthquake of 11/30/18

The Anchorage Alaska 7.0 magnitude earthquake as measured at Modesto Junior College

Attention must be paid. If you are one of my friends or readers in California or Nevada, you need to watch this. If you live in Oregon or Washington, you need to watch this. If you live in any place where earthquakes are a serious possibility, you need to watch. Why? Because when your time comes and you must undergo the ordeal of a major earthquake, you need to be ready, both for the duration of the quake itself, and in the aftermath. These people handled things pretty well.

In a nutshell, realize that your building will remain standing and you won't have time to get out of it anyway. What you'll need to do is not panic and take shelter from debris that could fall from the ceiling or walls. Be a helper as Mr. Rogers would put it and reassure the others around you so they won't panic either.

In the aftermath, check yourself and others for injuries. Get to a safe place, as there will be aftershocks. Stay off the phones; they should be used for emergencies only during the first hours after the quake. You should already have prepared a first aid kit for your home and your car, and you should have water supplies in both places as well. You should also have a plan in place for reuniting your family. This is often best accomplished by having an out of the region relative being the contact person.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

The most important thing you can do right now is education yourself about the earthquake risks in your home region. The U.S. Geological Survey and state agencies are always a good place to start. You may live outside of California, but you might be surprised at the possibilities for damaging quakes in other parts of the country.

The damage in Anchorage was extensive and the residents have my prayers and best wishes. But it is very notable that Alaska has had high architecture standards because of the magnitude 9.2 quake in 1964, and it paid off. At the last report I heard there were no deaths and few injuries. California also has high standards; in most cases you can trust the buildings will weather the quake. Just do your part to make sure the people do okay as well.

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