Earthquake SafetyDid you feel last week’s 6.0 earthquake? Many of my patients said they were woken up by it even though the epicenter was 50 miles north of us in Napa, Ca.

The 80+ aftershocks haven’t been very noticeable in the East Bay but that doesn’t mean we won’t experience another devastating quake in the near future. As I wrote 3 years ago, it is highly probable that the Hayward fault will release a “big one” in the next couple of decades. Have you stocked up on food, water, and other provisions? If utilities and transportation systems were down in your neighborhood for 2 or more weeks, how comfortable would you be?

See my 2011 article for advice about getting prepared: Are You Prepared for the Upcoming Big Earthquake?

The only update I have on my previous article is that California now has an early warning system, but it is only accessible to 150 private organizations such as BART. With enough pressure from the public, we could fund a system for public notification via text message, TV and radio. Personally, I would consider this a useful expenditure of public funds.

This in-depth article about the Napa quake includes these quotes about the ShakeArlert system: Geology of the Napa Valley Earthquake.

“Early warning systems are being tested in California. ShakeAlert, a system under development by a collaboration of California universities for over a decade, triggered and counted down a full ten seconds before the earthquake reached the university.”

“Richard Allen, director of Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory and one of the lead scientists on this project predicts that the project needs $120 million for the first five years of rolling this system out to the public. That’s 64 cents per person living in California per year, or an up-front lump sum of $3.15 each. If you live in California and are currently boggled that you could’ve gotten a warning to your cell phone, computer, or television counting down the seconds until this earthquake hit and want that warning before the next earthquake, start demanding that your local politicians fund this system, now.”