In January of 1994, the Northridge area of California was shaken by a level 6.7 earthquake, which devastated the area, including California State University at Northridge. See Susan Curzon’s story of the destruction of her library at CSU, and how they responded by getting services back up and running in temporary shelters and with limited staffing. (This story and more are available from the “Library Disaster Stories” page here on the toolkit.)
Earthquake damage to the rear side of the Oviatt Library. Image from Susan Curzon's story.
Today, in the “Emergency Preparedness News” section in the left column of the toolkit, you can see a story about the earthquake drill that is scheduled for Stanford University in early February. It is interesting to see how well their preparedness planners have used the lessons learned from previous incidents in their area and have planned the drill to deal with issues they know they will face when the next quake occurs.
The toolkit has two additional resources for preparedness and risk assessment related specifically to earthquakes. (1) See the “Earthquakes” RSS feed available in the list of RSS feeds on the left, and (2) under “Risk Assessment Maps and Charts” on the right, see the Earthquake map produced by the USGS showing earthquake probability for all of the U.S. The USGS says that over 75 million people live in earthquake-prone zones in the U.S., which affect 39 states.
Check out the latest new feature of the Toolkit! Scroll down past the Resources section of the right side menu bar to find a list of links to the maps that Dan has used in his training classes on service continuity. The maps are helpful for risk assessment for all regions–they add a larger picture to the very localized knowledge that most of us have about what has happened or is likely to happen in our areas. The maps in the “Risk Assessment Maps & Charts” section cover incidents of severe weather, earthquakes, wildfires, chemical and nuclear power plans, flood plains, tornadoes, among others.
As we know, there are many web sites that provide valuable information about emergency preparedness and response, a case in point being the CDC site which we mentioned earlier. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the “mother ship” of other government sites we have mentioned and linked to the toolkit (CDC, Ready.gov, etc.), is another one. The HHS site gathers together the many federal resources that are available to us, weaving them together by topic, and highlighting some we may have missed in looking at other sites, such as the “Emergency Managers National Situation Update” , which is on the FEMA site. The site covers a tremendous amount of territory, but is organized to make information readily available. There’s a lot there that can help us with risk assessment and other preparedness activities for our libraries and localities.