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California earthquake

Okay, this is a dog-bites-man story, but somehow people in earthquake country are always surprised by an earthquake. Today’s shaker in Napa is no exception. Facebook is all a-twitter with snapshots and news bytes.
wine shelves post earthquake

“The quake struck at 3:20 a.m. PT near American Canyon about 6 miles southwest of Napa, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.”

“At least 64,000 people are without power, state emergency officials say.”

“Napa Police Capt. Steve Potter said the area’s 911 system was briefly overwhelmed by calls that came in shortly after the quake”

“I didn’t know what to do,” said Sunshine Hamilton. Everybody ran outside, so I ran outside, too.” (Buy ’em books, send ’em to school and they use the books for kitty litter. C’mon, they have been telling you for your entire life to find a table or doorway and very specifically to NOT run outside where stuff is falling off buildings.)

In the aftermath, the Red Cross is handing out water, candy bars and band-aids.

How much water do you have stored in your home?

How much water will you use in the week or more it takes to un-break water lines?

Where did you plan on getting that water?
Oh, a full time job walking to the water distribution center and back? … assuming one is set up within walking distance … and trucks can even use the roads approaching your neighborhood.
groceries post earthquake
How about something to eat? The grocery store is closed until further notice. Where you needing anything from there in the next week?

Since moving from California over 14 years ago, I have been fascinated that the people in Idaho seem to be blissfully ignorant of the tremendous potential for massive movement of their patch of earth despite abundant contrary information. At least Californians pay lip-service to the probability … even if they do run outside to catch falling bricks with their craniums.

This should be a reminder to all of you, and even if the biggest threat around you isn’t earthquake, just how dependent are you and EVERYTHING YOU NEED going today just as it did the last 365 days?

———– from the USGS ———–
STRONG AFTERSHOCKS (Magnitude 5 and larger) –

At this time (immediately after the mainshock) the probability of a strong and possibly damaging aftershock IN THE NEXT 7 DAYS is approximately 54 PERCENT


Most likely, the recent mainshock will be the largest in the sequence. However, there is a small chance (APPROXIMATELY 5 TO 10 PERCENT) of an earthquake equal to or larger than this mainshock in the next 7 days.

WEAK AFTERSHOCKS (Magnitude 3 to 5) –

In addition, approximately 30 to 70 SMALL AFTERSHOCKS are expected in the same 7-DAY PERIOD and may be felt locally.

This probability report is based on the statistics of aftershocks typical for California. This is not an exact prediction, but only a rough guide to expected aftershock activity.
———– from the USGS ———–

At the very least, you could follow some of the advice the Red Cross has been sharing: