Will Another Major Earthquake Rock Santa Barbara?

Earthquakes are one of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature and can produce terrible aftereffects. The Santa Barbara earthquake of 1925 was a powerful quake which destroyed the city center, damaged the Old Mission, collapsed the Sheffield Dam and sent a wall of water to the ocean resulting in the flooding of the lower part of town and thirteen fatalities.

The mountains and valleys surrounding Santa Barbara are crisscrossed with faults resulting in a long history of earthquake activity. Edward A. Keller, a professor of earth science, environmental studies, and geography at UCSB, and a leading authority on earthquakes will be speaking at the Riviera Association Fall Meeting on October 21. Professor Keller, who just happens to live in our neighborhood, has researched and studied the natural landscape and environment of the Central Coast from Camarillo to Gaviota for the past 25 years. He will provide a general overview of the geology of the area along with specific Riviera history and fault information and discuss the implications.

Between the constant threat of wildfires and earthquakes, you’d think we would all have a plan in the event of emergencies, right? If my family is any indication, the answer is maybe. We do have an earthquake survival kit and we have a rudimentary plan for evacuation. But we don’t have a battery-operated radio for hearing emergency broadcasts or a plan for communicating with family outside the area or with neighbors for providing mutual assistance.

We have registered our cell phones for Reverse 911 notification of evacuations in the event of emergency, and signed up with Nixle, a free service that sends public safety notifications. We’re also aware that AM 610 is a low powered AM radio station operated by the Montecito Fire Protection District that has a continuous loop of fire and disaster information.?In addition to availing yourself of these local resources, FEMA has an excellent website,  that tells you what to do before, during and after an earthquake, and other natural disasters as well.

So please take the time to make (or update) your plan to safeguard your family, talk to your neighbors about communal efforts that could be lifesaving and locate the wrench to turn off your gas line! – Denny Bacon, Fire & Safety

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