Earthquake Provides Reminder to Prepare

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This morning’s 4.4 earthquake in the Berkeley hills was a wake-up call that reminds us of the dangers of living in earthquake country. It was the largest earthquake to strike the Hayward fault since 1981. Fortunately, no damage or injuries were reported, only rattled nerves. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the last major earthquake on the Hayward fault, which is overdue for the next Big One. If you have not yet made a New Year’s resolution, let it be to prepare for the next earthquake.

Now is the perfect time to be refreshed on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake:


  • Secure items that can fall and cause injuries, especially near beds and couches.
  • Have an emergency supply kit.
  • Develop a plan to communicate with family members.
  • Practice to drop, cover and hold on.


  • If inside: Drop, cover, and hold on. Go under a sturdy desk or table if possible.
  • If in bed: Stay there and cover and hold on.
  • If outside: Stay away from buildings, trees, utility wires, and other hazardous objects, and drop, cover, and hold on.
  • If in a vehicle: Stop as quickly and safely as possible, away from bridges and objects that can fall.
  • DO NOT stand in a doorway or run outside.


  • Be ready for aftershocks.
  • If in a low-lying area, move to higher ground in case of a tsunami.
  • Contact PG&E if you smell gas, contact EBMUD if there is a water break.
  • If inside a damaged building, exit the building and find a safe area outside.
  • Only call if you have an emergency. Use text/social media to confirm your safety to loved ones.


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Jesse Arreguin