Are You Prepared for An Earthquake?

November 14, 2011
By JasmineSidhu SILVER, Valencia, California
JasmineSidhu SILVER, Valencia, California
9 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Devastation, mass destruction, and fear are all adjectives associated with the word earthquake. Previously this year, many witnessed the agony and anxiety the people in Japan faced as their country was demolished with a natural disaster. This event has sparked one question in Californians’ minds: Is California prepared for such a disaster? More importantly, are you prepared?
It is the opinion of thousands of Californians that the huge hyped up earthquake that is supposed to occur in the next few years is a rumor. Some scientists believe that the earthquake will be so strong that it will move California to Alaska or break California into small islands within the next 30 years. There are many people that argue that for in order for that to happen there would need to be an earthquake with a greater magnitude than 10. According to the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, the likelihood of an earthquake occuring with a greater magnitude than 6.7 is 99.7%.
Although the part that many people seem to leave out is that even if such a disastrous earthquake were to occur, nothing too horrific would happen. In fact, the buildings in Los Angeles were constructed by professional engineers and architects who were cautious to major earthquakes occurring. Therefore, if there truly is an earthquake the building will just swing a bit, in the sense that you can feel the ground moving. The buildings of Los Angeles would not collapse like the ones in Haiti in 2010 mainly because Haiti’s buildings were not made of the same material as those of the United States’. Therefore, the devastation would not be nearly as much as that of Haiti’s. However, it is estimated that the earthquake will cost the United States $200 billion.
Eathquakes are the cause of moving plate tectonics so there is really no place for anybody to hide when it happens. Although there are a few steps people can take to protect themselves. Firstly, they should go home and examine their room. If an earthquake occurs during the night, are there any mirrors or pictures that could fall on top on them? Secondly, it is vital to create an earthquake kit with resources such as food, water, and clothes. The idea of creating a kit might seem stupid and a waste of time, but who knows it could save a life. Thirdly, it is important to examine safe places to hide in an individual’s house.
Whether or not someone is prepared for an earthquake, they should never do the outdated method of standing under their doorway, because it is just a myth. The materials our houses are made up of is no different than the doorway. The safest thing to do is to stop, drop, and get into a safe structure such as a desk.
Now if a person happens to be outside the best thing to do is to get away from any structures and if they are in a car it is best to pull over to a place isolated from buildings or any type of structure. Then, they should wait until they are positive the earthquake is over and that there are no upcoming aftershocks.
No one knows what will happen in the future, but the one thing we can all do is prepare for the worst, because if such an inauspicious day does occur then we won’t have to face the pain millions in Haiti and Japan have felt these last two years.

The author's comments:
With all the earthquakes that have been occuring throughout the world, I felt it was expedient to write an article that details what one should do in the case of an earthquake.

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