Pasadena Weekly: Every Second Counts

Kevin Uhrich and Rebecca Waer of Pasadena Weekly report on the Great Shakeout drill:

Are you prepared for the next big earthquake?

At 10:16 a.m. today, the Great California ShakeOut will help people across the state duck, cover and work on their emergency preparedness plans.

Margaret Vinci, manager of Caltech’s seismology laboratory, said the Great California ShakeOut started in 2008 as a way to make people earthquake-ready. The statewide effort is part of a global earthquake preparedness event designed to remind people to be disaster-ready.

The drill comes three days after the release of a report by the US Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park  which states movement by four seismic faults in the Bay Area’s San Andreas system could foretell a major earthquake, one which could strike at any time, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

US Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, led the charge this year for funding of an early warning system. With funding approved in July, Schiff said the warning system, once built, could quickly pay for itself in lives and property saved.

“Earthquakes are impossible to predict. Seismologists agree that California is likely to get a strong earthquake at some point in the future, but no one can provide the type of notice like those we receive for hurricanes. With an earthquake early warning system that can detect waves radiating from the epicenter, residents can get a warning of a few seconds to up to a minute or more, depending on the distance from the epicenter,” Schiff told the Weekly in August.

“With this warning, residents can take cover, automated systems can stop or slow trains and open fire station garage doors, and doctors can pause surgeries,” Schiff said. “The ability to take steps such as these will not only help to prevent injuries and casualties, but will mitigate the damages from the quake, saving residents, businesses, and local governments recovery money.”

To read the full article, please click here.

By:  Kevin Uhrich and Rebecca Waer
Source: Pasadena Weekly