Rachel Hong/ Portola HS 11th
Even after two major earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.4 and 7.1 that occurred on the week of the Fourth of July, people do not seem to be taking action to prepare for the “Big One” that is rumored by scientists to be coming soon. Many seem to think that the likelihood of the next big earthquake hitting as negligible which causes people to procrastinate taking cautionary measures. Their logic may seem true as the chances of the earthquake occurring today is 1/20,000; however, the San Andreas fault is growing and geologists suspect that there is a 62% chance that the fault will release tension in the next 30 years through an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 or higher.
Californians may be exhausted of hearing the same news of earthquake safety, however, instead of remaining stagnant, people should take the initiative to be prepared for the next destructive earthquake.
In order to be prepared, people need to be educated on specifically what to do when the earth begins shaking. Most people have heard that during an earthquake, they need to find the nearest door frame because that is supposedly the safest place to be, but that proves to be a myth that traces back to the 1800s and people may just get injured from the swinging door. Instead, you should just find cover and protect their head and neck.
After the quake hits, you will be unable to receive help immediately, so it is vital that essentials such as water disinfection tablets, non-perishable food, water, spare batteries, and a first aid kit are bought and kept in your home. Important documents such as insurance documents should be kept, and cash should also be kept in a safe area in case ATMs and credit card systems are not operating
These tips are only applicable if the earthquake comes when you are at home which may not be the case. When you are outdoors, it is better to stay out and away from trees, buildings, streetlights, and tall objects. If you are in a car, make sure to quickly pull over, but avoid stopping under buildings, trees, or bridges.
If you happen to be in the worst case scenario, being trapped under debris, cover your mouth, tap on a pipe or a wall for rescuers to find you, and use shouting as a last resort because you could inhale dangerous chemicals and dust.
Although the earthquake will cause result in many casualties and destruction to California, if people become more aware of the reality of the coming earthquake and take action to be prepared, it will increase chances of survival and comfort after.
<Rachel Hong/ Portola HS 11th