Increased Earthquake Activity in California-Now is the Time to Prepare

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

The Garlock Fault, a major earthquake fault in Southern California that has not moved in 500 years has started to move for the first time. This happened after the large earthquakes occurred in the Mojave desert last summer.

What is the Garlock fault?

The Garlock fault runs from east to west from the San Andreas Fault to Death Valley, and spans 185 miles. It has slipped .8 inches, or about two centimeters after being triggered by summer earthquakes.

What can potentially happen if an earthquake happens on the Garlock fault?

  • It would cause earthquakes in areas such as the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Palmdale, Ventura, Oxnard, Bakersfield and Kern County. These areas produce crops and also home to oil refineries.
  • Transportation can be disrupted as roads such as the Interstate 5, state routes 14 and 58 and U.S. 395 are nearby.
  • Water can be disrupted as the Los Angeles and California aqueducts which supply imported water to Southern California both cross the fault.
  • Major military installations such as the Fort Irwin National Training Center, Edwards Air Force Base, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake may also be impacted.

Finally, it could affect the San Andreas fault and cause an even more powerful earthquake along the 300 mile span of the San Andreas.

The early warning app

This week, the MyShake Early Warning App has been made available for download for Apple and Android users. It is designed to alert the user that an earthquake is coming.  Earthquake shaking travels at the speed of sound, slower than the speed of communications systems. Unless you are in the epicenter, you don’t feel the shaking right away.

If you are in California, you should download the app. Getting an alert will allow you to take preventive measures: you should drop, take cover and hold on to something.

Now is the time to prepare

I talked to a few friends and family members about the recent earthquakes and the app. Surprisingly, some have still not taken any steps to prepare.

  • Check your home for anything on the walls and furniture that can fall or become unstable when the shaking starts. Secure them so you don’t get hurt by falling objects.
  • Have adequate water and food to last for at least a week. Don’t forget supplies for your pets as well.
  • Keep your electronics such as your phone and laptop charged and have a backup source of power.
  • Assemble a first aid kit.
  • Prepare for a power outage.

Don’t delay taking steps to prepare for an earthquake.


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