California has hundreds of earthquakes a year. Today alone we have had two earthquakes. In the last seven days there have been nine earthquakes. In the last thirty days there have been thirty seven earthquakes. In the last year there have been five hundred fifty-seven earthquakes. These were all in Southern California. Some earthquakes are very small and you may not even feel them. Some are much bigger and cause massive damage.
The Great California Shake Out is a yearly earthquake drill with millions of participants all over California. On October 19th, 2017, I volunteered as a victim at Palm Springs Art Museum’s Shake Out drill. At 10:19 a.m. all the museum guests and workers were instructed to drop, cover, and hold on. After a minute everyone was told to evacuate. Security Officers evacuated all the guests and workers. Officers then have to work together to complete eleven obstacles. The obstacles included locating missing children, treating trapped workers, rescuing people who were injured, and working in smoke filled rooms. My job, as a victim, was to pretend that I was a lost student. I hid under a desk in an office that was already evacuated. A Security Officer who was searching for trapped guests found me and took me outside to a safe area. The Security Officers accounted for everyone and finished all the obstacles in 25 minutes. This was five minutes less the last year.
It is very important that you know what to do if there is an earthquake, like how to take cover and some good places to hide . You can take cover under a table or in a doorway. You can also hide in a bath tub. You should never take cover near a window or anything that can fall on you. If you are being evacuated be calm and listen. If you have an earthquake at school you can hide under your desk or in a door way. Stay away from anything that might fall on you and listen to your teacher for instructions.
Many stores sell a 72-hour earthquake emergency bag. A 72-hour earthquake bag has enough supplies to survive for 3 days with 4 people. It is a good idea to buy one for your home, car, and work. You should keep flash lights in your home. In a bad earthquake the power can go out. You can find out more about earthquake safety on the internet. If you are outside in an earthquake, get away from buildings, street lamps, cars and trees. Stay out in the open until the earth quake is over. Sometimes there is an aftershock. An aftershock is a mini earthquake that happens after the big earthquake. Sometimes there is no aftershock.
Some of the biggest earthquakes in California include the Northridge earthquake that happened January 17th 1994 the magnitude was 6.7. The San Fernando earthquake happened on February 9th 1971, the magnitude was 6.6. The Kern County earthquake was on July 21st 1952, the magnitude was 7.5. One of the worst earthquakes in California was on October 17th 1989 when an earthquake hit the San Francisco bay area causing over 5 billion dollars in damage. San Francisco had gas mains break causing many fires and part of the Oakland Bay Bridge, a double decker bridge, collapsed during the earth quake. The top of the bridge collapsed and fell on to the bottom sending part of the bridge into the bay. The earthquake happened just after 5:00 pm and went for about 15 seconds. The magnitude was 6.9. The bridge was rebuilt from 2002 until 2013 to be stronger and safer.
Earthquakes can be very dangerous for everyone. It’s important to participate in drills like the California Shake Out so you know how to react in an earthquake and how to keep yourself and others safe. You should also be prepared for the possibility of an earthquake by keeping supplies handy in case of a disaster. The Girl Scout motto is “Be Prepared!”