Quake anniversary urges preparedness

October 21, 2008 1:41:20 PM PDT
Today marks 140 years that an earthquake measuring nearly 7.0 in magnitude burst out of the Hayward Fault killing 30 people.

East Bay officials are using the anniversary to remind people that the fault is about due for another major quake, and we need to prepare.

St. Joseph's Elementary in Fremont is right on the Hayward Fault, and they've already had six this school year. They say they have to do this many because they are right on the fault and their building is pretty old.

School officials have the drill down to a science. The kids do the duck and cover inside, then when they get the all-clear they come out to the courtyard and they sit with their emergency contact information around their necks, and then they get situated in alphabetical order so their parents can locate them.

USGS representatives were at the school to remind everyone that this fault has a major earthquake every 140 year. This is the 140th anniversary of the quake, so they want this to serve as a reminder that we are due.

"It's good that we are trying to get prepared, but I think the school is already prepared and it's kind of scary to think that there is going to be a big earthquake because there have been small ones before that I have been in, but I think we can handle it," said 8th grader Melody Foley.

Our intent is not to scare people. Although earthquakes can be scary, what we want people to know is that an earthquake can happen anytime, and what do you do? Well you can prepare," said USGS seismologist Tom Brocher.

Make sure your family has all of the emergency phone numbers ready to go. The seismologist also said be prepared to live on your own for about three days ? that's how long it could take emergency crews to reach areas and for mass transit to start running.

The Red Cross estimates that only about 25 percent of us are ready for a big one.

  • American Red Cross
  • NERT Training

    To learn more about how to be prepared for a quake, read The Back Story.


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