Tag Archives: Earthquake

  • 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks China


    Earthquake damage in Southwest China, August 2014, Photo Courtesy of CNN.com


    On Sunday, August 3rd, China’s Yunnan province saw the most devastating earthquake since 1970. According to the US Geological Survey, a 6.1 (China’s own equipment is calling it a 6.5) earthquake was recorded at 4:30pm in the agricultural region known as Ludian. On August 7th, AP reported about 615 known fatalities and 3,143 injured, though those numbers may continue to  increase as first responders progress through the rubble.

    Particularly disastrous in this case is the age and instability of the brick structures prevalent in the region. One volunteer quoted by the Huffington Post estimates that about half the buildings in the area have collapsed completely, with countless more damaged and uninhabitable, resulting in an evacuee count of almost 30,000. To make matters worse, power and communications have been wiped out, and rainstorms are hampering rescue efforts and the distribution of relief supplies.

    We’re keeping an eye on this and will report in the future on possible ways to help. In the meantime, the hard lesson for the rest of us has to do with broad spectrum preparation. Knowing what to do in the event of an earthquake is an important first step, but just as important is having a protected stock of supplies, an alternate means of communication, and the know-how to survive when the grid is down.

    Our article, “How to Prepare for an Earthquake,” contains several links to other useful lists, posts, and resources that teach everything from what to put in an earthquake emergency kit to what to do before, during, and after a quake. And as a supplement to those, “Earthquakes and Your Mental Health” emphasizes the role of preparation in the management of stress and trauma.


    Keep China in your thoughts and prayers, and make sure your home and family are prepared for the big one!








    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Preparedness In The News, natural disasters, Current Events, Earthquake

  • Tokyo's Morning "Quake-up" Call

    Tokyo's Morning "Quake-up" Call

    Tokyo awoke to an early-morning quake on Monday, May 12th.

    According to The New York Times, “NHK [the national broadcasting station] said it was the strongest quake felt in Tokyo since the aftershocks of a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 off the northeastern coast.”

    Read the full New York Times article.


    If you’re not quite earthquake-ready, you can prepare for an earthquake with these resources:

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: Easy steps to take before the big one hits

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do during an earthquake

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do after an earthquake

    Earthquakes and your Mental Health

    Free Disaster Guide, Part 1: When Disaster Hits Home

    Free Disaster Guide, Part 2: Are You Ready?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Earthquake, natural disaster

  • Earthquakes in Gold Country

    Recent Earthquakes in California cause people to prepare

    Since leaving Southern California a few years ago, I’ve been missing fresh avocado and Disneyland something fierce. One thing I haven’t missed? Earthquakes. I was reminded of how much I didn’t miss them when friends started reporting their experiences online with the recent 6.7 shaker.

    While the injury count is encouraging (none), the New York Times points to an important side effect: “For Californians, 2 Quakes Put Preparedness Back on the Map.” According to the article, the relatively gentle reminders lately have reminded a complacent community of the real and imminent danger of larger quakes. In fact, more than just encouraging residents to store water and practice earthquake safety, LA’s mayor is working with a prominent seismologist to overhaul the city’s unsound buildings and shore up its water and communications infrastructure.

    The short-term takeaway: events like this remind us of the importance of earthquake preparation. Is my house up to code? Have I stored food and water? Do I have ways to communicate with family or rescuers if phone towers are knocked out? These are important questions to answer, and you can find a thorough range of preparation resources in our post, “How to Prepare for an Earthquake.”

    There is, however, an even scarier lesson at work here. Angelinos certainly aren’t exclusively guilty of this, but the situation is a powerful reminder of how quickly we become complacent in our preparations. L.A.’s expert seismologist Lucille M. Jones calls the last 17 years “the quietest time we have ever seen,” in terms of seismic activity—but that’s barely a generation away from the lethal Northridge quake!

    A long stint without a disaster accomplishes two potentially fatal things. First, it tips preparedness off the radar of our consciousness. And second, it increases the likelihood of another disaster (for example, if experts predict my neighborhood will flood every ten years, and it’s been nine…). This principle really hits home for me. I said I was relieved to be away from the California fault lines, but experts have been predicting “The Big One,” a 9+ point mega-quake, here in my own Pacific Northwest for ages. The last one was in 1700. We’re long overdue, and we’re nowhere as prepared as Southern California!


    Whether it’s earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, or floods in your neck of the woods (and, let’s be honest, it’s never just one), don’t let a calm spell fool you. Follow LA county’s lead and take care of the problem before things get even dicier. Start here, and let us know how else we can help you!


    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Earthquake, natural disaster, preparedness

  • Earthquakes and your Mental Health

    How do Earthquakes impact your Mental Health?

    After a 4.4 magnitude earthquake shook California residents on St. Patrick’s Day, many people have found it difficult to shake their high-strung nerves, according to CBS Los Angeles’ article, “‘Earthquake Nerves’ could Impact Mental Health’”.

    Emotional aftershocks are common after experiencing emergencies or natural disasters. But did you know these aftershocks are capable of affecting your mental health if you ignore them?

    One of the most important things you can do after a disaster, according to Psychiatrist Charles Sophy, is to talk about your experience. Sophy believes emotional signs such as the inability to fall asleep or the lack of hunger are “signs that you’re still very upset [and] are red flags that you need to do something, which is either talking to [another] adult or call[ing] your doctor. Talk to your husband, your partner, whatever, but you’ve got to talk about it.”

    Talking about your experience can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes from the lack of control you felt during a crisis. It’s equally important to talk with your children if you’re a parent and to not underestimate or downplay the danger of earthquakes. Read the rest of the article here.

    Preparing will help alleviate some of the potential emotional turmoil and distress that comes from emergencies. Focus on the following areas (in addition to gathering gear and supplies):

    1. Prepare your home: You can prepare your home by building a supply of food, water, and gear to help you survive after an earthquake. You can go even further by bolting down furniture or securing vases, frames, and other moveable objects with an adhesive putty or gel, like these from Quake Hold.
    2.  Prepare your children: Teach your children how to stay safe at home, school, and while outdoors during an earthquake. Also let your children help make a plan, build an emergency kit, and get involved. Check out Ready.gov for ideas on how to include your children.
    3. Prepare yourself: Prepare yourself emotionally and physically for an earthquake. If you’ve taken the above precautions and prepared your home and your children, you’ll be able to better focus on keeping your emotions in check during an emergency.


    What precautions do you think are the most important to take for an earthquake?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: national disaster, Earthquake, emergency preparedness

  • The Ocean City Boom

    The Ocean City boom makes us ask if you really were caught in an earthquake, what would you do?

    When a loud boom, violent shaking, and tremors rattled Ocean City, MD in early Feb., the city’s residents were confused. Most suspected an earthquake, but within hours geologists confirmed that wasn't the case.

    The Baltimore Sun reported the event, and by Thursday evening, signs pointed towards supersonic jets flying from the Patuxent Naval Air Station. Two jets took off over the Atlantic coast at the time of the rumbling. It’s likely that weather conditions allowed the sonic booms to travel further than normal.

    Although geologists were satisfied when the Navy confessed to planning two supersonic flights Thursday, many citizens wondered “if there wasn't something more mysterious” at hand.

    “We've had sonic booms in town before,” said one firefighter, “but this seemed different. It was more sustained, and then there was a pause for about a minute and then it started again.”

    Others agreed, having experienced similar rumblings every three to six months, but this particular boom was the most intense so far.

    “We've never got one like today,” Bart Rader, a resident who felt the boom as it rattled a 50 lb. sculpture in his home, said.

    Read the Baltimore Sun article, "Boom, then rumble leaves Ocean City puzzled” to learn more about this mysterious boom that has everyone talking.>

    Those in Maryland were lucky it wasn't ruled as an earthquake, but if it was … would they have been ready to face it? Would you be?

    Natural disasters are often unexpected and destructive; many people find they are underprepared. As disasters occur around the country and throughout the world, we should each be asking ourselves the same question: are we really prepared?

    Check out some of our Insight articles to help you prep for an earthquake:


    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: Easy Steps to Take Before the Big One Hits

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do during an earthquake

    Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to do after an earthquake

    Or browse the other Insight Article categories



    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Sonic Boom, Baltimore, Maryland, MD, Earthquake, emergency preparedness, Survival, preparedness, disaster

  • Smart Phone Technology Measures Earthquakes

    What do a smart phone’s GPS system and a seismograph have in common?

     What do a Smart Phone's GPS and a Seismograph have in common?

    The main parts used to create GPS receivers can also be used to create a system of sensors that will help improve warnings or response times to severe weather, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes. According to the Christian Science Monitor, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California have been working on a prototype system of sensors that works using a network of GPS receivers to track changes along earthquake faults in the western United States.

    Researchers found that “by adding inexpensive temperature, air pressure, and motion sensors common in today’s smart phones . . . the system can arm forecasters and emergency managers with important information earlier and more frequently than using existing techniques.” These sensors can also be added to other buildings and structures to measure damage after an earthquake.

    Several areas, buildings, and structures in southern California have already begun testing these new GPS weather sensors. Researchers are pleased with the results: this prototype system has proven to be “faster, more accurate, more reliable, and more versatile than current tools” used to measure seismic activity. The ultimate goal of using this sensor on structures is to help emergency managers get a faster, clearer sense of where the heaviest damage to and tilting of, buildings is occurring happening

    To read more about how this new GPS sensor works, as well as where and how it is being used on structures and buildings in southern California, check out the Christian Science Monitor article, “Smart Phone Technology Boosts Early Warning for Extreme Weather, Quakes.”

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Earthquake

  • Could a Tsunami Hit the Pacific Northwest?

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    Tsunami Evacuation Route Sign - Could a Tsunami happen in the Pacific Northwest?

    If you enjoy vacationing at the Beaches on the Pacific Northwest coast, be aware of the potential warning signs for a Tsunami. As we learned in the post, Tsunami-Like waves Hit New Jersey, three people were swept into the ocean. Also, the devastating Tsunami that hit Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka in 2004 took the lives of many.

    From these events we learn, if ever a tide drops, get to high ground immediately because it will roar back with a vengeance and you can’t outrun it. But how do these events relate to vacationing in the Pacific Northwest?

    Researchers at National Geographic believe that the rupture of the Cascadia Fault line in the Pacific Northwest in 1700 may have created a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan that same year. According to the New York Daily News, reports from seismologists suggest that geologically, “Oregon and Japan are mirror images.”

    The similarity of these two regions has caused the Oregon legislature concern after the devastating effects of the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. Since history has indicated that the fault lines of Japan and the Pacific Northwest are linked, the Oregon legislature believes that a large magnitude earthquake in Japan could potentially create an earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. For centuries, Native American tribes located along the coast have passed down oral histories illustrating the impact of the 8.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated regions of Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia in 1700.

    Currently, the Oregon legislature is trying to get Oregon residents to prepare for a potential natural disaster. Many seismologists believe that an earthquake and tsunami of the same magnitude as the 1700 quake is long overdue and will affect the Pacific Northwest again. However, the legislature realizes that they have a long way to go to adequately prepare its citizens for a potential earthquake of this magnitude.

    Many areas in the Pacific Northwest are working on getting their buildings up to code. However, Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, believes that while the state is making great preparations for its citizens, “Oregonians as individuals are underprepared.”

    Although the potential date of the rupture of the Cascadia Fault line is uncertain, now is the time to prepare for the potential dangers associated with a major earthquake and tsunami. Create emergency plans and have emergency supplies on hand (such as emergency kits and food storage). Remain informed on updates and news related to these potential natural disasters.

    For more information on Tsunami and Earthquake preparedness:



    To read more about amazing the history of the Cascadia Fault Line check out these links:









    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: beach safety, Tsunami, Earthquake, natural disaster, emergency preparedness

  • Baby Steps: The Great Utah ShakeOut


    It’s not glamorous but the ‘Drop! Cover! Hold on!’ method will protect you during an earthquake.

    On April 17, Emergency Essentials participated in the Great Utah ShakeOut. At 10:15 am thousands of Utahns dropped, covered, and held on during an earthquake drill.

    The event gave me some valuable insight. I learned that I need to clear out a few things under my desk and organize some cables that are in my way. My coworker had his doubts about how much protection his cubicle would really give him, but he learned that his desk will in fact provide sufficient coverage. (Here’s a picture of him sliding into position.)


    Today’s Baby Steps are really small, but will make a big difference in your ability to survive an earthquake.

    1. Find out when the ShakeOut is happening in your state or territory and sign up. If there isn’t a ShakeOut in your state, consider starting one or holding your own family/community drill

    2. Learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold on.

    3. Teach your family.

    Every step toward preparedness is a step in the right direction. If you feel silly practicing in public, practice at home. It only takes a few seconds to Drop, Cover, and Hold on and actually doing it will help your body develop the reflex.

    I hope that an earthquake won’t hit your area, but if it does, you know what to do. Drop! Cover! Hold on!

    ~ Steph


    We partnered with The Deseret News to create online information about earthquake preparedness and recovery. Get Ready to Shake Out has tips for prepping, and What to Do When Disaster Strikes will teach you what to do during and after an earthquake. Click the images below to access the information (and download them for free, if you'd like).

    Get Ready to Shake Out

    What to do When Disaster Strikes

    Click here to read The Deseret News’ report.

    Get detailed information about what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

    Click here to read more about Drop, Cover, Hold on.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Drop Cover Hold On, Great Shake Out, Earthquake, baby steps

  • "Get Ready to Shake Out" - Free Download about Earthquake Preparedness

    Emergency Essentials is proud to sponsor The Great Utah ShakeOut with the Deseret News, BeReady Utah, and other sponsors. If you subscribe to the Deseret News, you may have received the insert shown below in your newspaper in January. You can also get copies at any of our Utah store locations.

    But let's say you don't live in Utah or subscribe to the Deseret News...

    You can still access all the information in the 12-page insert. Some of it is specific to Utah (the fault lines, population numbers, etc.), but the information about earthquake preparedness applies to everyone—because earthquakes can strike anywhere, anytime. They can be caused by shifting faults, mining, and other underground activity.

    Click on the image below to go to the online version of the insert and check out the great info inside. You can download it, print it, or email it to a friend.

    We hope you never have to deal with an earthquake. But if you do, we hope this information will help you prepare before it strikes.


    "Get Ready to Shake Out" Deseret News insert by Emergency Essentials. "Get Ready to Shake Out" Deseret News insert by Emergency Essentials.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Free Download, The Great Utah ShakeOut, Earthquake, Emergency Essentials, emergency preparedness