Why Should You Care?
Ever stumbled inside one of those carnival fun houses where the floors are all uneven and the walls are at odd angles? Ever been groping around in a dark room and put your foot on a stair step you thought was there -- but wasn't? Ever been on a small boat in a big storm at sea, with huge waves tossing the boat around like a small bottle cork? If you answered yes to any of these, or have a good imagination, then you know a little of what it's like to be surprised by a large, damaging earthquake.
With everything else you've got going on in your life, why should you care? Making money, keeping up with the bills, raising your kids, fixing your car, figuring out how to make ends meet -- we all have our worries. And these are way more important than building a safety plan -- right?
Nope. Not really. OK -- earthquakes don't seem to happen all that often. But over a million earthquakes are detected worldwide each year! Since 2000, over 400,000 people around the world have died because of earthquakes. When an earthquake occurs, ground motion can be so strong that it can destroy your home and hurt you and your loved ones in ways you'd never suspect. And that's just the shaking. When that's over, and if you survive the shock, you could also be hit with a tsunami, a landslide, a fire, or a flood. If your home, apartment or office building is still standing after the shaking, it might be unsafe. You might have to evacuate right away.
Have you thought about what you'd do if any or all of these things happened to you? Did you know that if you have a plan, your chances of survival are much greater than if you don't? Save your life, and the lives of others -- make an earthquake safety plan today. It only takes a few minutes. Your safety and peace of mind are worth it! There are many to choose from, so I've included a few links. Just click on one of them, and keep the information handy.
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John Rundle is a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Geology at UC Davis and the Executive Director of the APEC Collaboration for Earthquake Simulations. He chaired the Board of Advisors for the Southern California Earthquake Center from 1994 to 1996. Read John's blog.