Skip to comments.Quake Prep
Posted on 12/30/2004 10:39:09 PM PST by forestEdited on 03/22/2005 6:43:15 PM PST by Jim Robinson. [history]
Preparing for the inevitable large California Earthquake
Some officials say the long overdue big earthquake in California is due any time.(1)(2) Sure, its all guesstimation -- Nobody knows for sure what is exactly going on beneath our feet -- and our houses and trees. But as knowledge from modern research is assembled, better forecasts can be given. This discussion is primarily for the San Francisco Bay Area.
It seems that major quakes occur near sunrise or sunset. The Loma Prieta Quake about 15 years ago hit late in the afternoon. The recent mag 9 in Sumatra in 2004 struck early in the morning. (13)
The SF peninsula people are lucky -- I hope. Much of the ground is solid and should not amplify the quake. So that is good news. But it could last longer. But the areas next to the bay that are built on fill could encounter much greater movement due to amplification.
Those on silt fill on the Hayward Fault along the East Bay may be in for some serious quaking. To locate the Hayward Fault, simply draw a line along all the hospitals and universities.(3) All that stuff is sitting smack dab on top of the Hayward Fault on fill which will magnify the quake. The East Bay cities could be leveled.
But they dont get to hog all the fun. The huge electrical power lines that supply Silicon Valley pass over the hills east of Oakland, or thereabouts. Those towers are about two hundred feet high and might come tumbling down amid great sparks and flashes. You better hope you have spike protection, such as a UPS, protecting your computers and other electronics. Some phone lines go directly into the brains of a computer.
Without electrical power, pumps wont pump water for drinking and sewage. And pumps wont pump potty poo to the poopoo plant. With luck the sewer lines have been laid properly and gravity will furnish the power. But the treatment plants wont treat and will back up. Sewage plants on silt along the bay may be destroyed. There could be a monster problem here. Neither will your toilets refill themselves. Better get a portable potty like campers use. Chemicals kill the smell.
Without power, pumps will not pump natural gas to your stoves. Better have some propane camp stoves handy.
But then, maybe our government servants will have had the forethought to have huge, diesel powered generators ready to keep basic services going.
Natural Gas Line. If you use natural gas and have structural damage to your house, turn OFF the valve outside your house. Then check for pipe damage. That methane gas is deadly poisonous and highly inflammable.
Electric Lines. If you have structural damage to your house, turn OFF the main switch to electric power to your house. Then check for wire damage. If you are properly protected with breakers or fuses, you are probably safe. But dont take chances of shock or fire, especially for the children.
Many conveniences we take for granted will probably be out for at least two weeks, maybe over a month. Lets hope the terrorists do not capitalize on that dilemma.
One might wonder if martial law will ensue, and for how long. History has shown that once politicians get power, they are loathe to release it. Do we need that? Some citizens are well prepared to take care of their own homes. And, incidentally, that is exactly what our Forefathers intended for us to do.
Then there are the super volcanoes, Long Valley Caldera and Yellowstone. Hundreds of acres of ground around Yellowstone are so hot that people wearing shoes can not walk on it. A mound has pushed up over a hundred feet in Yellowstone Lake. One of the largest volcanoes in the world lingers below Yellowstone National Park, fueling all those hot wonders. Scientists have discovered that it has erupted regularly about every 600,000 years and is about 40,000 years overdue for the current blast. When she blows, she will cover over half the United States with ash. (10)
California my be just out of reach, but there may be a system of faults running from Yellowstone to the San Andreas Fault in the Bay Area. (5)(14) The size of the Yellowstone volcano just might trigger volcanos and quakes in California, or vice versa. Mt. Shasta is considered active (as is Mt. Rainier up in Washington State.) East of Monterey, monitored is super volcano Long Valley Caldera, in the Yellowstone category. There is movement over there. (11) 80 miles south of Long Valley, quake action has thrust up the highest point in the lower US, Mt. Whitney, 83 miles from Death Valley, the lowest point. In geological magnitude, the low, the high and the hot are right next door to each other in California. (4)(6)(7)(8)(9)(12)(14) (16) (One might watch Mt. St. Helens up in Washington State for a indicator of action under our feet.)
Also, in geological magnitude, Chile is close to California. Some of Chiles over 100 volcanos are off shore and could heat ocean water, bringing El Nino into the discussion. But the heating source that causes El Nino is over by Asia and is so huge that it dwarfs volcanic action off the Chilean coast, negating that concern. When that area of the ocean by Chile heats, the hot currents move north to California. If that hot, wet air moves over the mountains, California could experience torrential rains after a giant earthquake. Or, the opposite could happen. Santa Ana, the hot wind from the east, could scorch southern California after the big quake. But neither is expected. (15)
Tsunamis are not expected to be of concern. The type of fault under central California does not, generally, produce earth movement that causes tsunamis. About fifty miles out from San Francisco is a steep, deep drop off that may be a fault line. If a huge earthquake should trigger a massive undersea landslide, a tsunami could be generated that will cause the central California coast to become wet -- very wet. But that is NOT expected. (14)
And speaking of tsunamis, here is a wild thought. If earth movement can cause a tsunami in the ocean, why couldnt it cause a tsunami in the molten ocean in the center of the earth? That giant wave of molten solids could kick Yellowstone and Long Valley with great force, right in the buttocks. Now, that could be downright interesting. Never disturb a sleeping lion. It could also cause a great response in the Chilean volcanic network, awakening El Nino. Just a thought. Dont lose sleep over it. Just store some water and baby food. (14)
Water -- Take your pick: Lots or little. However, the Earth will make that decision without the least consideration for fickle humans. But frail humans could gather a few provisions to help their feeble existence.
It might not happen for fifty years, so dont go off the deep edge now. Just make a few preparations.
It does seem that Mother Nature likes to party in California. Where I am sitting in Saratoga might be as safe a place as any. There is not a dang thing we can do about natures ranting and raving, but we can prepare for it to make life easier while we ride it out. Following is a list of the many conveniences we take for granted and thoughts about preparing for their absence. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the stomach grow empty.
Water -- Fuel -- Food and Cooking -- Heating -- Lighting -- Computers -- Falling, Breaking -- Power -- Roads -- Communication -- Cash
Storage Cans. White for water, red for gasoline, blue for kerosene. Do NOT mix.
Water, drinking. Get some jugs and water at a Pure Water Store, whose bottles are ROUND. Or get some WHITE, 6 gallon plastic containers. Mark as drinking water. Do NOT store water in pete bottles. (Look at the bottom.) They out gas poisons into the water. HDPE, PP and PC (polycarbonate) are good. Have at least two weeks supply. A good water filter would be handy if you live near a creek. Just remember that all creeks in cities are plenty polluted. A proven filter is a necessity. Chlorine does NOT kill viruses, but boiling does.
Water, toilet flush. Do NOT flush every time. You might consider a portable potty like campers use. Chemicals or lime will lessen the smell. Get some WHITE, 6 gallon plastic containers. Mark your WHITE water bottles either drinking or flushing. DO NOT MIX, unless both are palatable, or you want diarrhea at a time of limited flushing water.
Fuel. It will be camping time. BE CAREFUL OF CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING and OXYGEN DEPLETION. ALLOW VENTILATION. CO is odorless and invisible. Burning uses oxygen. Outside, no problem. Inside, be careful. Better chilly than dead. Do not burn fuel in a tightly enclosed room.
Food and Cooking. To prevent waste, get cases of food you would normally eat. Unless you have a generator or marine battery and an inverter, your fridge and freezer will soon be warm. Canned, dried and powdered are your remaining options. A good camp stove using a small propane tank is handy. Or, you could eat cold out of the can.
Heating. Camp heaters or a propane stove will take the chill off. Allow ventilation. Have warm clothes ready.
Lighting. Good flashlights and camp lanterns are a must. Get MANY extra batteries. Fluorescent tubes take much less power than incandescent bulbs. LED lights take even less power. A propane powered camp lantern with mantles is warm and very bright.
Computers. If you value the information on your computer, MAKE BACKUPS DAILY. That is the first rule. Burning info to CDs is a snap now and only costs two bits. You must have your computer and other sensitive electronic devices on a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) that contains a surge protector that kicks in within in a few nanoseconds. When those big power lines, or even lesser ones, go down, wires will cross, sending a monster surge of high voltage and high wattage toward your house. Without a UPS, your electronics will be fried to a crisp. Telephone lines go directly into the heart of your computer, so put your telephone lines on the UPS also. That includes internet phones lines and cable wires. The cable wires should have a modem that will take the guff. Better it fries than your computer.
An even worse surge can happen when power is restored. That first surge from the power plant can be huge. So leave your electrical equipment off until power is back and stable.
Falling and breaking. There will be a whole lot of shaking, rattling and rolling going on. You are not going to stop this band. Its going to play, ready or not. So you might as well get in step. Strap down your computer and monitor. Tie big speakers to the ceiling. Put bungee cords on your cupboard handles. Put straps across book shelves. Etc etc. In short, tie down anything that is breakable, or that can break something else if it falls. If you have cracked or rotten limbs overhead at your house, better call the tree trimmer now. It will be cheaper. On solid ground on the peninsula, I do not expect big items like reefers (refrigerators) to topple. Its the smaller things that will move. On fill, especially in the East Bay, good luck.
Power. No stores, no gas. Your place wont be the only place without power. When the electricity goes out, so do all the doors and checkout stands at the stores. All the pumps at the gas stations will be out. With stores closed you wont buy anything. Today you better get a RED plastic can or two of gasoline, just in case the roads are passable. And get those needed auto repairs done now, not after the big rush.
A gasoline powered generator would be handy. Do NOT hook to the house electrical circuit, unless you savvy that stuff. Use extension cords. Consider noise and ease of starting when purchasing a generator. Vent outside.
Another option is a jump start, the kind made for starting cars. The best one I have found is at Costco, who also has deep cell marine batteries. Get their 1500 continuous watt inverter and you have a great system. Unlike car batteries which are designed to keep voltage up, marine batteries are designed to supply power and keep on going until fully discharged. A marine battery and a good inverter are so reliable they can be used to power comptures and sound equipment for a band.
Roads. Bridges out, wires down. When the big one hits, things will topple onto roads. There are trees, tree limbs, wires of all kinds, etc. There are also bridges. People do not realize how many bridges are between work and home. Count them next time you commute. Bridges include over crossings, under crossings, tunnels (now theres a fun thought), and plain old bridges, like across rivers and bays. Some of those get mighty lengthy. Maybe you had better include a good pair of walking shoes in your backpack, along with a bottle of water and some nourishing snacks. (And a swim suit if you happen to be on the Bay Bridge. But maybe they put on all the nuts this time. Hmm... that was the Oakland elevated freeway.)
Communication. With no electricity, Ma Bell wont work. That means no land line phones. How about cell phones? They work off satellites, reflector antennas and long wire antennas. In the East Bay those antennas will probably bite the dust. You might be in luck with satellites. I just dont know. Any battery powered radio will tune into the disaster frequency, if its working. Doctors and ambulances will be stalled, so better think about injuries and treatment.
Cash. Keep enough cash on hand to see you through. Credit cards will probably be useless with no power.
Summary. Think about it and do some homework. A little prep can make the inevitable much easier.
1.<http://www.quakefinder.com/calnetwork.htm>. Big California quake any time.
2.<http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/fact-sheet/fs039-03/>. Probabilities. Great Maps. Looks like we will be moving.
3.<http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/fact-sheet/fs039-03/hazard.html>. Hayward fault map.
4.<http://www.tinynet.com/faults.html>. Yellowstone Quake caused wells to fluctuate. Moving maps.
5.<http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/2004/2004052717072.html>. Relation of ruptures.
6.<http://www.indiana.edu/~pepp/earthquakes/reports/alaska11_3_02/CCTshakedown.htm>. Alaska triggered California.
7.<http://www.earthwaves.org/history.html>. Map of big quakes.
8.<http://www.light-science.com/usgsalaska.html>. Big Alaska quake triggered quakes in California and Yellowstone.
9.<http://bric.postech.ac.kr/science/97now/02_12now/021209b.html>. Alaska quake triggered quakes in Yellowstone and thermal spots in California.
10.<http://www.solcomhouse.com/yellowstone.htm>. Yellowstone erupts every 600K years, covering half the United States with ash.
11. <http://www.seismo.berkeley.edu/~battag/LVO_GIS/Intro/facts-sheet/fs108-96.html>.. Long Valley Caldera.
12.<http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=18014>. Best for facts. Hot dirt closed trails.
13.<http://news.inq7.net/world/index.php?index=1&story_id=22443>. Time of Sumatra quake.
14. <http://www.ktuu.com/CMS/templates/master.asp?articleid=11985&zoneid=4>. The 2004 Sumatra quake triggered volcanic action in Alaska. The entire state was undulating up and down.
15. <http://fusionanomaly.net/elnino.html>. Links volcanic action to El Nino. This site may be a little far fetched. The 1,000 new volcanos have been known. Perhaps someone just re-discovered them.
16. <http://www.syzygyjob.org/>. Syzygy - alignment of celestial bodies and gravitation pull.
Forest Glen Durland, Saratoga, CA. Copyright 8-12-04
Web Home Page: www.uhuh.com
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Not a good title at a time like this. You scared the crap out of me.
I was in the Landers quake.
Right at sunrise, 8 miles from epicenter (middle of nowhere, 29 Palms).
Change yer damn thread title.
Poor title. Good post.
You forgot weapons. In the scenario you describe there will be anarchy of some degree.
Yellowstone is not particularly overdue for anything, and there aren't the slightest indications of any impending caldera blast.
California my be just out of reach, but there may be a system of faults running from Yellowstone to the San Andreas Fault, which is the Bay Area.
There is no such system of faults.
The size of the Yellowstone volcano just might trigger volcanos in California.
Mt. Shasta is considered active (as is Mt. Rainier up in Washington State.
Shasta and Rainier are dormant, not active.
The highest peak in the continental United States is Mt. Whitney, another volcano in east central California.
Mt. Whitney is NOT a volcano.
Well... This guy is from my home town.
My parents took quite a few of these precautions when my brother and I were growing up. A large, fully stocked pantry helped quite a bit.
There's some good advice here for people who still live in California. Of course, some of these preparations are good no matter where you are.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!
I think Texas Tech beating Cal 45-31 qualifies.
I just want to know two things. If a large earthquake hits California, who is authorized to declare it, "the big one".
And how many deaths are required for a disaster to be of "biblical proportions"? Thanks,
well, that's sort of what happens when lightning strikes a power line... OF curse, lightning will jump a power switch in its mad desire to fry your stuff...
(BTW, WRT this disaster as in all such cases, we should try to point out as quickly as possible that wimmen-n-minorities will be hardest hit.)
Wouldn't that truly be an environmentalist's nightmare, let alone everyone else's. Of course they would probably still tout the endangered species rhetoric in the midst of the disaster.
They would probably be overjoyed. We go back to living like Third World peasants.
Not to worry, when it happens, the Sri Lankans and Malaysians will send billions in aid...
Even St Louis, MO, has had a bigger quake than the 1906 San Francisco quake. Admittedly, it was in 1812, but it still happened.
More important things to work on.
However, a lot of people in California were very worried about the poor little penquins after the December 23, 2004 quake South of New Zealand.
This week the eco-nuts and environmental fruit cases of California are not much concerned about the poor little penquins. Nor is the MSM.
There are some California types that would have said surf's up Dude when the giant tsunami hit if they were there -- doing drugs and riding surf boards.
God is the one thing you should trust, love, and fear.
Supposedly, someone had posted that the Northridge Quake of the 1990's had shut down the PORN industry [briefly]. Too bad.
You are correct, Mt. Whitney is not a volcano, just a big hunk of uplifted granite. It beleive he was thinking of Mammoth Mountain and the Long Valley Caldera.
Major Quake hitting Los Angeles knocking out servies for three days would decimate the region for years to come. Five days and the State would never recover, Seven days and the nation would suffer catastrophically, 10 days and the world would slip into a depression. I don't know if those stats still hold 15 years later.
That is very interesting information. I maintained a low profile, but obviously, much can happen. The US is a large part of the world economy, so your research figures right in there. A major California quake will be felt world wide in more ways than one.
marking for later
"There is no such system of faults."
I was just going to ask about that because I have never heard of or read about this anywhere.
The emergency prep information is excellent and EVERYONE living in California should read it and prepare just in case.
I was always prepared when I lived there, just ask CK when he had to come move me.
We gave away what 12-15 bags of food to the foodbank 'cause there was no room in the truck/trailer for it and still had food come with us that lasted for months.
Don't forget the water, the bug out bags and flashlights etc.
I goofed on Mt. McKinley. It was pushed up by earthquake action. Please check out my docs concerning the other points.
Good advice for all to be prepared for any disaster. It is simply amazing how poorly prepared most people are when disaster stikes.
Simple red fuel storage cans cannot be purchased in CA any longer. One has to purchase a very expensive can with vapor controls etc. - New law in CA for the last 2 years where the gov't is protecting us from ourselves.
Gasoline does not store well for very long. If you keep extra gas on hand, you need to pour it into your vehicle tanks and use it while refilling your storage every few months unless you need lots of varnish.
My wife has a high school buddy in Phoenix that buys gas when her tank hits 3/4. This last summer(?) when AZ had the fuel problems for a week or so, she was one of the people that could still drive.
A well equipped camper should have all this stuff on hand, just need to keep the water and food stocks up.
Don't know the definition of inactive, but Shasta has sulfer steam venting near the summit. You are correct that most of the statements are not very scientific. However, it is reasonable that people in the San Andreas and Hayward faults take precautions and store some emergency supplies. They may not get much warning.
Good advice. Thanks.
You have stated that Yellowstone is not active and has no history of eruption, that there is no system of faults from Yellowstone to California, and that Rainier and Shasta are dormant.
Please be advised that there are hundreds, perhaps much more, acres of ground in Yellowstone that are so hot people with shoes can not walk on them. A dome has risen 100 feet in Yellowstone Lake. You and scientists do not agree.
For documents on the faults, please study my document link #5, then correct yourself."
Scientists consider Rainer active. While less active, Shasta is not dead.
As I posted earlier, you are correct that Whitney is not a volcano. I goofed on that one. Whitney was thrust up by earthquake action. It is interesting that Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower US, is only 50 miles from the lowest point in the US, Death Valley.
In the magnitude of Yelowstone, only 80 miles north of Whitney is the Long Valley Caldera, a super volcano whose activity is currently being monitored. That link is
BTTT. Also, makes it easier to find it later when I have time to digest it all.
Saratoga's where I'm sitting too. Disquietingly close to the San Andreas fault, no?
Due to the structure beneath us, I do not expect any quake greater that the one 15 years ago. But it could last longer.
Time will tell.
It is expected to be much larger than anything since 06, maybe bigger. The public leaders will declare many things for you.
I don't recall mentioning the Bible.
It was an innocent mistake. Silicone is made from silica in Silicon Valley. Hope I got that one straight.
Yeah, but I did enjoy looking for the photograph of the silicone.
The preparation advice looks good.
The geological descriptions are a bunch of drivel.
If you use natural gas and have structural damage to your house, turn OFF the valve outside your house. Then check for pipe damage. Gas is deadly poisonous and highly inflammable.
If you have structural damage to your house, turn OFF the main switch to electric power to your house. Then check for wire damage. If you are properly protected with breakers or fuses, you are probably safe. But dont take chances of shock or fire.
I disagree. To most it is good to know.
Thanks to Webmaster and host Jim Robinson, the original post has been updated, complete with additional footnote documentation. Hope it helps folks.
"When that area of the ocean by Chile heats, the warm currents move north to California. If that warm water generates warm, moist air that rises up and over the mountains, California could experience torrential rains after a giant earthquake."
17. <http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050520/D8A6JNBG1.html> and Science: <http://www.sciencemag.org>. Sumatra Quake Shook Earth's Total Surface