ARTICLE. You ready for a BIG EARTHQUAKE? Find out Saturday, October 27, 2018.
ACTION PLAN for ~ 7.3 – The Coast is Flat
This scenario is a 7.3 earthquake occurring along Highway 280, west of San Mateo. The effects would be severe. Extrapolating from the 1989 Loma Prieta and 2014 Napa quakes effects in the more rural towns of Napa Valley and Santa Cruz, one can estimate on the Coastside several hundred red-tagged buildings, hundreds injured and dozens of fatalities.
This exercise is focused on answering the question:
Are you and your neighbors prepared for a disaster?
- Do you have 1 gallon per person, per day? Do your neighbors?
- Do you have any vulnerable neighbors? Do they have a disaster plan?
- Do you have a pet plan? What if you are over the hill at work?
- Family communication plan for weekdays and weekends?
Background – The Coastside is bounded on the East by the San Andreas Fault line, on the west by the San Gregorio Fault. The United States Geographical Survey estimates a 62%+ chance of a 6.7 earthquake and a 50%+ of a 7.0 earthquake at any time. The 1906 earthquake (7.9) occurred north of San Francisco on the San Andreas Fault. The Loma Prieta earthquake (6.9) was on the same fault, but south of Half Moon Bay. Historically, earthquakes of significant magnitude occur on average every 18 years. We are due.
- To utilize the exercise as a unifying catalyst to advance Disaster Preparedness on the Coastside (Montara to HMB).
- To provide an opportunity for Coastsiders to meet their neighbors and start the disaster conversation.
- To increase awareness for public safety and the need to prepare and respond to disaster / emergencies.
- Determine a base line of capability for Coastside and HAM-ARES post-disaster communications.
- Provide an opportunity for existing HAM-ARES members to utilize their training.
Recently, there has been a growth in interest of volunteers to support professional responders such as Coastside Fire, Sheriff, City and County services. What is needed is to establish and train a cogent, organized and effective response utilizing volunteers. This is a first step.
The Coastside’s vulnerability to landslide and tree-falls is experienced every year with road closures and utility outages. Recently, a fiber-optic issue took down both internet providers for half a day, leaving many without telephone and web access.
Imagine if the earthquake happens at 3:00 in the morning, in the winter, during a week-long rainy period. Imagine that the Coastside Emergency Operations Center along with the Sheriff Substations in Half Moon Bay and Moss Beach are destroyed, their antennas inoperable and every relay on the ridge line is out.
It is reasonable to assume that a 7.3 quake will cut the fiber optics to the Coast, disabling land-line and cell communications. Electricity, water and natural gas will likewise be disabled for some time. We will be on our own for at least hours, probably 30 days.
- CHECK YOUR HOUSE ~ Find your gas (do you have a crescent wrench at the turn-off?), electrical and water shut offs so your family knows where they are in an emergency.
- CHECK YOUR NEIGHBOR ~ Check your neighbors to each side, across the street and behind your home.
- Ask if the household needs instruction in finding their utilities. If yes, teach.
- Ask if they have a gallon per day, per person for a week stored?
- Ask if they have any vulnerable persons in their home.
- GET THEIR EMAIL ~ Ask your neighbors if they’d like to be added to our CEPC email list in order to be kept up-to-date on further emergency / disaster exercises and information. OR they can email CERT Trainer, Michelle Dragony to get on the list.
- At the neighbor’s, you can refer them to the Coastside Emergency Prep webpages for more information.