Geology Cafe
Are you aware and prepared for potential disaster?
Central California, with seemingly perfect weather, is also susceptible to infrequent but potential significant disasters. It is a citizen's responsibility to be aware and prepared! Disasters are bound to happen over time, however, taking simple and often inexpensive steps to be prepared can prevent a lot of grief and suffering during troubled times. Citizens need to be a par of community safety awareness and preparedness!

The region around San Juan Bautista (in San Benito County, California) is an ideal location to learn about earthquake faults and their history. San Juan has a history involving earthquakes, fires, floods, droughts, storms, and pandemics in its long history. These and other natural and manmade hazards have affected the region.The county has arguably more miles of earthquake faults in a limited area than any county in the United States. The county is host to the most famous and notorious fault in the world, the San Andreas Fault. However, other major earthquake faults in the county include the Southern Calaveras and Paicines Faults (part of the greater fault system associated with the Calaveras and Hayward Fault system that extends northward into the East San Francisco Bay region), the Sargent Fault, the Vergeles Fault, and other lesser known and unnamed faults capable of producing earthquakes in our modern times.

Whereas it is not truly possible to predict exactly when earthquakes will happen, it is possible to make assumptions about the frequency of large, damaging earthquakes based on the record of frequency of past earthquakes. Many tell-tale signs on the landscape, in seismic records and other technological measurements, can provide insights into fault behavior, possible trends, and certainly a measure of the potential hazard of damaging earthquakes. In addition, studies of the character of materials in the subsurface can help predict the potential damage that may be caused to dwellings, buildings, and infrastructure. Home and business owners, regional planners, and emergency response organizations need to be aware of disaster potential in their area, and be cognizant of fault, flood, fire, landslide, drought, and social upheaval associated with local, regional, or national disasters. Below are a list of resources for anyone to review.

Why preparedness is so important! Simple observations from past disasters highlight the need to plan ahead... Power will be out - phones, lights, bank tellers, cash registers, and other things we typically rely on won't work! Roads and travel networks may be disrupted, water may not be safe to drink, emergency workers and hospitals may be overwhelmed. Where will you go if you are told to evacuate? Will people know where to look for you, and do you know where your family and friends will go?

See these other organizations' disaster preparedness website! Some will have advice more specific to your needs!
Office of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Administration
U.S. Geological Survey
California Geological Survey
Southern California Earthquake Center
American Red Cross
California Earthquake Authority
Pacific Gas & Electric Comany
California Department of Water Resources
California Department of Fire & Forestry Protection
Home Insurance Association - Preparedness
7 steps for earthquake preparedness
Seven steps for earthquake preparedness (from Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country - highly recommended reading!)
landslide susceptibilty map
Susceptibility of Deep Seated Landslides in Central California (Derived from California Geological Survey Map Sheet 58 (2011)
earthquake wildfire flood tsunami plague


Wildfires Floods Tsunamis Infectious Diseases
pestilance landslide drought debris_flow tornado
Pestilence Landslides Drought Debris Flows Severe Weather