April is Earthquake Preparedness Month and it couldn't come at a better time. High profile earthquakes like those in Haiti and Chile have brought images of shocking damages, but when natural disasters such as these happen in far away places it is easy to dismiss the risk here at home.
In honor of Earthquake Preparedness Month, Ready Set Go Kits is focusing on earthquake risks around the U.S.. Think you're safe? Take a look:
Earthquake Hazard Areas based on Fault Lines in the U.S. Map courtesy of USGS:
Fault lines or zones are the causal locations of earthquakes and this maps shows that over half of the 50 states have active fault zones. Due to these fault zones, the USGS states that over 75 million Americans in 39 states are at significant risk for earthquakes.
That risk is seen every day in the U.S. although not always felt. Check out this map from the USGS of the earthquake activity over the last seven days in the U.S. Earthquakes are happening all the time, we just happen to be lucky they are not big ones.
Ok, you might say to yourself, I get it, we're at risk for earthquakes. How much time do I have to prepare for the Big One? The short answer of course is that no one knows exactly: no reliable and accurate method of predicting earthquakes has been developed yet. However, we can use history as a guide.
Let's take the West Coast of the U.S. as an example. In the 1700's there was the major 9.0 Cascadian Subduction Zone earthquake, an earthquake that ripped open the fault line for 600 miles, from Northern California to Southern Canada causing landslides, collapsing homes and produced a tsunami that reached Japan. Oral histories from native tribes recount shaking so prolonged and violent that it made them sick.
Geologic records show that this was not an isolated event, but in fact is an event repeated many times over irregular intervals over hundreds of years. In the last 6,000 years, there have been at least 13 such events. That means we know another such event will happen, but we don't know when. What's scary is that if the last event happened Jan 26, 1700, that means already 300 years have passed and based on history, it would not be unreasonable to assume another such event will happen in our lifetimes. 1
At this point, we have two choices as citizens. We can take a few easy steps now and prepare our homes and families for earthquakes, mitigating potential damage or we can do nothing and hope another earthquake such as those in Haiti and Chile never happen to us. I choose path number one and am looking forward to the peace of mind I will receive by knowing my home and family are prepared for earthquakes.
Ready to join me? Ready Set Go Kits is posting a 6 step guide this month to get you prepared. Sign up now for our free newsletter at Ready Set Go Kits to get these 6 steps and more!