Particularly since the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan, I’ve noticed more articles about preparedness. ABC news recently published Preparing for an Earthquake: What You Can Do to Stay Safe. The article notes how woefully unprepared the US is for major disasters, and recommends a few things to consider when building your own emergency supplies and plans.
The article also shows a map of earthquake danger zones; note that one of the most active spots is not just the West Coast, but the US midsection along the New Madrid fault. So no matter where you live, it’s a good idea to think ahead. Don’t forget about pets and children!
The Big Island experiences small quakes all the time as a result of our active volcano, Kilauea. If there’s a big one, as there was in 2006, you’ll feel it for sure. But you can also keep track of where earthquakes are happening worldwide – as in the case of Japan, a major earthquake far away can sometimes result in a destructive tsunami here too. You might know about the IRIS seismic monitor, which shows quakes from the past two weeks and seems to be updated a few times an hour. The GEOFON seismic monitor shows quakes in the past 48 hours, including where the last big quake was. I also like the Live Earthquakes map because it shows real time (or practically real time anyway) quakes, including the smaller ones worldwide. Firefox has an eQuake add-on alert you can install on your browser, so when USGS updates a new quake, your screen will shake just a little bit. If you’re on the computer a lot as I am, this is a handy way to stay informed.
You can also subscribe to alerts on your phone from Hawaii County Civil Defense.