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Earthquakes happen every day!

What are Earthquakes and do you need to be concerned?

With earthquakes occurring all over the globe and seismic activities on the rise in recent months, it is obvious that the earth's tectonic plates are moving and shifting.

But with major earthquakes being substantially past due in terms of geological timing, the pressure between earth's tectonic plates is steadily increasing and it is only a matter of time until the friction which currently hold the plates in place is overcome by the forces tearing on them.

And when that happens, the plates will shift and earthquakes will occur, some of them might even trigger tsunamis and flooding.

It is unknown in advance when the plates might shift, which plates will move, how rapidly they will move and what damage they might cause as a result, and that is why it is important to be prepared for earthquakes.

Here are some Fast Facts provided by FEMA about Earthquakes:
  • Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning at any time of the year and at any time of the day or night.

  • Smaller earthquakes also called aftershocks often follow the main shock.

  • An earthquake is caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the Earth's surface. Ground shaking from earthquakes can collapse buildings and bridges; disrupt gas, electric, and phone service; and sometimes trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires, and huge, destructive ocean waves (tsunamis).

  • Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

  • Several thousand shocks of varying sizes occur annually in the United States, and 70 to 75 damaging earthquakes occur throughout the world each year. All 50 states and all U.S. territories are vulnerable to earthquakes. Where earthquakes have occurred in the past, they will happen again.

  • California experiences the most frequent damaging earthquakes; however, Alaska experiences the greatest number of large earthquakes—most located in uninhabited areas.

  • Earthquakes occur most frequently west of the Rocky Mountains, although historically the most violent earthquakes have occurred in the central United States.

  • The largest earthquakes felt in the United States were along the New Madrid Fault in Missouri, where a 3-month-long series of quakes from 1811 to 1812 included three quakes larger than a magnitude of 8 on the Richter Scale. These earthquakes were felt over the entire eastern United States (over 2 million square miles), with Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi experiencing the strongest ground shaking.

  • The Richter Scale, developed by Charles F. Richter in 1935, is a logarithmic measurement of the amount of energy released by an earthquake. Earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 4.5 are strong enough to be recorded by sensitive seismographs all over the world.

  • It is estimated that a major earthquake in a highly populated area of the United States could cause as much as $200 billion in losses.

  • If you do not have an earthquake kit or emergency supplies, then please review our selection of earthquake kits and make sure you and those that depend on you have at least 72 hours worth of supplies on hand.

    For information on how to determine and measure Earthquake Magnitude, please click: Richter Scale
    For information on how to determine and measure Earthquake Intensity, please click: Mercalli Scale

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