By Rachel Luna
October 17 is the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, which was a 6.9-magnitude tremor that rocked the San Francisco Bay Area, killing 63 people, injuring thousands, and causing billions of dollars in damage. As a native Californian who currently lives in the footprint of the Hayward fault – one of four “highly stressed seismic faults… [that] could rupture at any time” – I have a personal stake in this issue. Not to mention I spend six to eight Saturdays each year sitting in a stadium that is bisected by the aforementioned fault as I watch my beloved Cal Bears play football.
Recently, I took to the internet to help with my emergency prep plans. Even if you don’t live in an earthquake-prone area, preparing for disasters is probably a good thing so I figured I’d share some highlights from my research:
- The “Text First. Talk Second.” campaign from Safe America Foundation is a good strategy to remember for any emergency that might disrupt power or communication systems. Side note: If your campus has an emergency text alert system, you might consider signing up for that.
- I curated a list some helpful Twitter accounts related to disaster preparation, including national organizations and government agencies like @Readygov. Of the many local emergency entities on Twitter, @EmergencyPrepBC (based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) was my favorite thanks to their fun #PreparednessNinja images like this one about “drop, cover, and hold on.”
- Disaster prep doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom either. For earthquake-specific fun, test your knowledge while playing the Beat the Quake game from the Southern California Earthquake Center. Then, embrace your culinary side with the Emergency Kit Cook-Off. This playful perspective on emergency planning resulted in a handful of recipes that look surprisingly decent.
- For the app-happy folks among us, check out the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) app and mobile-enhanced webpage [free, iOS, Android, and Blackberry] or the American Red Cross’s suite of mobile apps [free, iOS and Android] which includes disaster-specific options so you can download what’s most relevant.
If crawling under a desk or table for an earthquake drill isn’t your thing, you could instead spend a few minutes reviewing your campus emergency procedures, creating a communication plan with your family, or refreshing supplies in your emergency supply kit. Happy prepping!
P.S. I offer up Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” as a soundtrack for this post as it was stuck in my head the entire time I was writing it.