Yesterday's Wall Street Journal reports on a study in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America that indicates we may be faced with not one but a series of Big Ones. It says
The study reveals a previously unknown tally of very large quakes occurring close together in the Bay Area going back to the year 1600. From about 1690 to 1776, six large quakes ranging from magnitude 6.6 to 7.8 on five different faults runbled through the region...
The lead author is quoted as saying
It was along the San Andeas fault that the 1906 quake, the most powerful in Northern California's recorded history, broke. That quake had the effect of releasing enough pent-up energy tp "relax" other faults around it, according to Mr. Schwartz. Since then, the region has been "seismically quiet," meaning that stress has been rebuilding on the fault line over time.
The U.S. Geological Survey says there is a 63% chance of one or more magnitude 6.7 or larger quakes striking the Bay Area in the next 30 years.
I don't think I have reminded you to update your quake kits in about three years. Do the shoes in the kit still fit? Are the spare eye glasses the right prescription? Do you still own the same car as the one you put the extra key in the kit for? When was the last time you changed the water? Do you have charcoal and lighter fluid handy? A can opener? Where is the special wrench to turn off the gas? Do you have a generator? Have you started it in the last six months?
Remember: if we get a Big One or two, you and yours could be On Your Own for two, three, four days or more. While Moonbeam (and the press echo) frets about global warming causing more droughts over the next 30 years, you have the personal responsibility to take care of yourself after a quake. If you are prepared enough to help out an elderly neighbor or two that would be good also.