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Earthquake Risks in the Bay Area

Skyler Hallgren | APR 19, 2018

WARNING: The USGS hasn't released this scenario to create fear; rather to show realistically what could happen when the next major quake erupts on the Hayward fault.

Nevertheless, this video released by dozens of experts is eye-opening, and frankly a bit frightening.

USGS Scenario of 7.0 East Bay Quake

The US Geological Survey just released it's "HayWired Scenario" - a landmark report that lays out the impact of a 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault centered below Oakland, and a study of the probable aftermath.

“This fault is what we sort of call a tectonic time bomb,” USGS earthquake geologist emeritus David Schwartz said. “It’s just waiting to go off.”

The study was created by dozens of experts from the USGS and the HayWired Coalition, which includes over 50 public institutions, and published at UC Berkeley as a reminder that the Bay Area needs to prepare now. The HayWired Scenario is intended to move citizens to action so we can "outsmart disaster", as the coalition puts it.

See The Impact Where You Live

The Hayward fault is so dangerous because:

  1. it's the world's most heavily-populated fault line in the world, with 2 million people living directly on top of it; and
  2. because it's due for major eruption. The fault releases a major quake every 150 years on average. The last occurrence? 1868... 150 years ago.

According to the USGS, this report isn't about fear-mongering; rather encouraging everyday citizens to prepare for the statistically probable. A major earthquake is inevitable - we simply can't know when it will hit.

"Those close to the actual fault rupturing... may experience shaking strong enough to flip over a grand piano", according to seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones.

"What you had in Oakland in Loma Prieta is much less shaking than you're going to get in this one."

But experts are clear - preparing for earthquakes improves outcomes. Officials are encouraging the public to use the science to come together and start planning now to outsmart disaster.

You can't prepare the common-sense supplies.

For many people, just thinking about the next major earthquake is intimidating, so they ignore it out of fear. Earthquake preparation can also feel like a daunting task - like vacuuming under the couch or doing your taxes - that most of us put off from year to year.

The key is to not be scared, but to be prepared. There are a few easy, common-sense steps that drastically increase your ability to survive and be resilient after our next major earthquake.


If you'd like to build your own emergency kit, click HERE for the ultimate 47-item emergency prep checklist. You'll need a ready-to-go bag pre-packed with food, water, first aid items and basic medicines, hygiene items for each person you are preparing for, shelter, warmth, tools, and supplies for light, communication and charging without relying on electricity or batteries. You should feel confident you can live without services or infrastructure for an absolute minimum of 3 days.

If you'd like to buy a pre-made bag that can be easily customized for your exact needs, click HERE to checkout The Earthquake Bag. You can find the perfect solution in under 5 minutes, and it will arrive at your door in just a few days. It's the easiest way to get high-quality supplies without spending weeks on the search.

The best part is that for every order, 1% is donated directly to disaster relief victims. You can see where the money goes HERE.

The new findings from the USGS make it clear - we can't afford to push off earthquake preparedness any long. The good news is that there are resources like the CHECKLIST and THE EARTHQUAKE BAG that make getting prepared super easy.

Build it or buy it, just get it done!