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One Large Quake is All it Takes

Alaska ripe for the big one


OK, I admit it. I don’t have an emergency readiness kit.

I did at one time. In fact, the water still sits in a trunk in my closet, now 15 years old. I also have 15-year-old military rations in the same area.

The Japan quake/tsunami disaster, on the hearts of so many, taught me a valuable lesson. I need to get prepared. And do it now.

By 9:30 a.m. today, March 17, there were about 30 earthquakes reported in Alaska, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center (AEIC), funded by State and national agencies and located at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They ranged in size from less than 1.0 magnitude to 4.13 magnitude and struck many regions of the state, including Cook Inlet. The website reports about 22,000 earthquakes a year, statewide. That’s a lot of shaking. Break that down, it’s 50-100 daily or 400-700 weekly on average.

You’ve heard the story: It’s not IF we will have another big one like the 1964 9.2 earthquake/tsunami that we’ve all been told about or lived through that killed 132 people. It’s a matter of WHEN. And when could be today. When could be tomorrow.

This time, more could die as our population is growing and growing and growing, with about 700,000 statewide, and more than 290,000 in Anchorage, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

Are you ready?

There’s an easy, dowloadable brochure at www.aeic.alaska.edu/html_docs/nextbigeq.html titled “Are you prepared for the next big Earthquake in Alaska” that tests your readiness skills and gives tips for surviving a large earthquake. I suggest you take a look at it. It explains how Alaska has more earthquakes than any other part of the U.S. and is one of the most seismically active areas worldwide. Also of note: Earthquakes larger than magnitude 8.0 hit on average of once every 13 years in this state – and this goes back to 1900! One between 7.0 and 8.0 magnitude hits EVERY year.

There are too many tips in this 25-plus page brochure to even begin to tell you how to prepare for the earthquake that will happen – sometime, perhaps even before the ink on this page dries.

Be prepared.

I’m going out to get my earthquake readiness kit tonight after work. Or at least by this weekend.

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