Remember the Big One in 1992?

Press release:

Where were you in April 1992? If you were in Humboldt County, you probably remember that there was a whole lot of shaking going on.

On April 25, 1992, at 11:06 on a sunny Saturday morning, the Cape Mendocino earthquake suddenly unleashed land-thrusting, wall-busting motion. Registering a magnitude of 7.2, within 18 hours it was followed by two major post-midnight, aftershocks, one at 12:41 a.m. and another at 4:18 a.m. Sunday. Each registered a magnitude of about 6.5 to 6.6.

All told, the sequence caused nearly $70 million in damage and more than 380 injuries along the North Coast, but no fatalities. Ten days later, President George H.W. Bush declared the region a major disaster area. It is the only time an earthquake has ever earned that designation in Humboldt County.

To mark the date, the City of Eureka and the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group—an organization of emergency and earthquake professionals from Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties—will host a “remembrance” gathering Saturday, April 29, at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.

Along with offering the public opportunities to share memories of the earthquakes, view displays and hear music, the event will include presentations about the underlying geology and how it rearranged the landscape, the legacy of enhanced preparedness, and major advances in the science of earthquakes and tsunamis. Free preparedness materials will be available, and individuals will be able to sign up for Humboldt County’s new emergency notification system and try out a new tsunami-zone app. For details, visit http://earthquake.cascadiageo.org and http://facebook.com/1992earthquake.

According to Lori Dengler, an emeritus professor of geology at Humboldt State University and expert in tsunami and earthquake hazards, most Humboldt County earthquakes originate under the ocean on strike-slip faults, where the land moves horizontally.

“The ’92 quake was different,” she said. “It was centered onshore, three miles east-northeast of Petrolia at a depth of six miles beneath the surface. The fault that caused it tilts to the east like a ramp, and the land above it was thrust up and over the land beneath. This caused a 15-mile-long stretch of the coast near the mouth of the Mattole River to rise as much as five feet, killing the intertidal marine life and changing the coast line.”

The movement uplifted a 40-square-mile area just offshore, producing a small tsunami, she said. A tide gauge in Humboldt Bay recorded an 8-inch surge less than a half-hour after the earthquake. Later the Crescent City tide gauge, about 100 miles away, detected a nearly 24-inch wave. Gauges in Hawaii and Monterey, Calif., also detected it. Eyewitnesses on local beaches reported a surge of about 3 feet high.

As it coincided with low tide, the tsunami caused no flooding.

1992 Earthquake

A car in Ferndale after a nearby building dropped a load of bricks on it. [Photo provided by Lori Dengler]

However, for geologists and emergency planners, it underscored the potential for “near-source” tsunamis to create damage quickly in areas near the epicenter. Ultimately, it prompted Congressional hearings that lead to the establishment of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, and it led to the creation of the Redwood Coast Tsunami Working Group.###Background information on the Cape Mendocino earthquakes
Earthquakes are relatively common in Humboldt County. North Coast California and the adjacent offshore area is the single most seismically active region of the contiguous 48 states, accounting for 46% of all of the earthquake energy released. Fifty-five earthquakes since 1900 have been strong enough to cause damage. (fig.1 North Coast earthquake timeline)

The Cape Mendocino earthquakes occurred within the Mendocino triple junction region, where three plates of the earth’s surface, the Pacific, the North American and the Gorda plate meet. It is also the meeting point of three great fault systems: the San Andreas to the south, the Mendocino to the west and the Cascadia to the north.

April 1992 Earthquake epicenter. [Image provided by Lori Dengler]

The April 25th mainshock was centered on shore, three miles ENE of Petrolia at a depth of six miles beneath the surface. The fault that caused the earthquake tilted to the east like a ramp and the land above it was thrust up and over the land beneath. The fault was close to the southern end of the Cascadia subduction zone, the convergent plate boundary between the offshore Gorda and Juan de Fuca plates and the North American plate.This thrust faulting caused a 15-mile long stretch of the coast near the mouth of the Mattole River to rise as much as five feet, killing the intertidal marine life and changing the coast line. A team of geologists, biologists and HSU students measured the uplift by recording the distance between the dead organisms and the surviving ones.The earthquake produced the strongest ground shaking ever recorded in a California earthquake, registering over twice the acceleration of gravity on the nearest strong motion instrument at Cape Mendocino, strong enough to bounce a Caterpillar D-9 tractor trailer into the air and land it a foot away without leaving a track in the mud it was mired in.

The same faulting that raised the coast uplifted a 40 square mile area just offshore as well, producing a tsunami. Because the uplift was relatively modest, the tsunami was as well. The nearest tide gauge inside Humboldt Bay recorded an eight inch surge and the Crescent City tide gauge, about 100 miles away detected a nearly two foot wave. An eyewitnesses at College Cove near Trinidad estimated the tsunami was about three feet high. It was also recorded as far away as Monterey, Port Orford and Hawaii.

The tsunami coincided with low tide and caused no flooding. But it was important for several reasons. It was the first potentially damaging “near source” North Coast tsunami ever recorded. The first tide gauge was installed in Crescent City’s harbor in 1933 and since then, 38 tsunamis have been detected. Before 1992, they had all had been triggered by earthquakes more than 2500 miles away. The tsunami warning system for the US West Coast was designed primarily for these distant tsunamis, where there are four or more hours before the first wave arrives. This gives emergency managers time to issue warnings and to organize a coordinated evacuation response. The 1992 tsunami arrived in Humboldt Bay less than a half hour after the earthquake. On the beaches in Southern Humboldt County, the time was even less.

The 1992 earthquake occurred at a time when a relatively small group of geologists and seismologists were becoming aware of the hazards posed by the Cascadia subduction zone, the 700-mile long convergent plate boundary extending from Cape Mendocino to Vancouver Island, Canada. Paleotsunami deposits, Native American oral history, written records form Japan and geophysical modeling all suggested earthquakes perhaps as large as magnitude 9 had occurred in the past. But there was very little awareness in the larger earthquake preparedness community and among legislators and decision makers.

The 92 quake jolted emergency planners and earthquake professionals throughout the country. The thrust fault that produced the 1992 quake was very close to the inferred location of the Cascadia subduction zone. It was a mini-version of what researchers expected a bigger Cascadia quake to cause – thrust faulting, strong shaking, coastal deformation and a tsunami. The ground had barely stopped shaking when ramifications began to emerge.

Don Hull, head of the Oregon geology agency DOGAMI, contacted Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee at the time and used the 1992 quake to convince Hatfield that the US was woefully unprepared for a larger Cascadia tsunami. In 1994, Hatfield convened the first ever hearings to mention the Cascadia subduction zone in Congress. The hearings led to the establishment of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program. It was a modest program for the first years, funded by a $2.3 million a year earmark, but it initiated a program of tsunami modeling in the five Pacific states, began the deployment of deep sea instruments to measure tsunamis and led to changes in tsunami warning center operations.

California’s geology agency obtained FEMA funding to compile a study of a larger Cascadia earthquake in Humboldt and Del Norte County. It was the argest earthquake they had ever studied, the first in a predominately rural area, and the first and only one to include a tsunami. The tsunami modeling was primitive by today’s standards but it opened eyes to planners and managers that surges could arrive only minutes after an earthquake. It was the release of this scenario in 1995 that led to the creation of the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group (RCTWG), an organization of emergency and earthquake professionals from Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino County to develop messages and programs to address the Cascadia threat that continues to this day.

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37 comments

  • Humboldt Granny

    Do I remember that quake? Do I remember the huge cracking sound of the top half of one of the redwood trees breaking off along the Avenue of the Giants? The small slide on the freeway north of the Pepperwood off ramp? Or the absolute mess of Main Street in Fortuna as we approached it from 12th Street. Or how about the broken windows along Main Street?

    Most of all, I remember the mess on the floor of our daughter’s small mobile home kitchen – mayo, mixed with taco meat and grape Kool-Aid all over the floor (the refrigerator had tipped and dumped it’s load when it’s door came open.)

    I was proud to be a resident of Humboldt County when I saw how people took the damage without a whimper or begging for outside help. Maybe the floods of the past had taught us, but we knew what to do and just did it without asking for help.

  • Great Article! The graph shows there hasn’t been much activity in the last 20 years or so. So the next one seems overdue. Just renewed my earthquake insurance. Costs about $1/day.

  • Moved here in Nov 1995, Father-in-law came back after the holidays and his apartment was a mess. I have felt a few since…most memorable 2, 6.9…in K-mart getting fish bait, thought the bikes were gona fall on us, 7.0…with visiting sister, daughter, friend and sisters dog…at Field’s Landing,on the sand, low tide, Knocked all 4 of us down, 3 got up and were thrown down again, then water started SHOOTING out of the sand between us(on the wet sand) and the dry sand, and the earth was GROWLING!!!! Phew!

  • That night I was at Swimmers Delight with a bunch of college friends trying to decompress from the first one. My buddy had his cinder block book shelves with his beer bottle collection on top come down on him and he proposed to go camping, he was a geology major. When the second one hit we were peaking on cid and drunk as could be when out in the dark we heard an old growth crack and come down through the trees on us. We all jumped for cover, me under an old growth log, the rest under a picnic table. I remember the look they gave me when they realized their choice was wrong. The tree landed in the next campsite over and then the whole cliff across the Van Duzen came down. We were so drunk by the third one no one even woke up.

  • I was working in Pearl Harbor building the pier for the Battleship Missouri when that happened

  • I remember it well. The third quake in the series seemed to be the sharpest in Garberville. In the first quake the trees and the tall antenna at the hospital were whipping like fishing poles mid-cast.

    We all ran out the back door of the store. My wife was driving at the time. She pulled in behind the store a few minutes later, she was all upset that there was something wrong with her car, “it was flopping and jumping all over the place”. It seemed to be my fault for some reason. Then she got all upset that the whole crew and I were standing out back, “who is taking care of the store?”

    Although we suffered little damage it turned out to be a great disaster for the north coast. If we had the same quakes today we would probably suffer many landslides with our saturated dirt.

    Two of my friends (Ron and Charlie) were out fishing in the ocean off Big Flat. They said that the ocean made a very loud unearthly growl and the hills on the shoreline turned dusty from from the dirt sliding. Frieghtened, Charlie stood up in the boat, Ron casually asked him, “where are you going Charlie?”

  • I was 12 playing little league at Agnes Johnston I believe, big trees moving all around but couldn’t have been safer in the middle of a field.

  • I was sound asleep when the quake woke me up. I lived at the beach above Trinidad. When I looked in my living room all my furniture was dancing and all my windows were glowing orange. Earthquake lights. Apparently very rare? Because of the orange light I was sure someone had nuked us. A friend that lived inland from me had a view of the beach. He said you could see flashing lights in the ocean and the orange glow were I lived. This quake taught me one thing. How fake all our news media is. We lost the overpass right in front of the Humboldt Country nuke plant. The news of the overpass going down right next to the nuke plant never got out of our area. If it had gotten out it would have made all nuke plants look bad. There really is and apparently always has been fake news.

    I like to freak out the building department so I had designed a floating detachable bed for my house should the continent sink. Apparently, I might have needed it. Lucky and prepared.

  • I was working in the kitchen at Avalon in Eureka when the quake hit in 2010. The building felt like it was hit by a bus. As we were going for the door, the six foot shelf holding all the plates and bowls collapsed right next to me. I came out the back door to see the brick buildings in old Town wiggling back and fort like rubber. Looking out across the parking lot, I could see it moving like ripples on a pond. I head car alarms going off, a woman screaming… quite the experience. Then I drove across Eureka to check on my house. The city was mild chaos. Drivers disregarding all traffic laws, people out in the street all over. Broken water mains were flowing up from the ground in places and I could smell gas leaks too. Got home to find everything i had on shelves or in cupboards on the east and west walls to be on the floor. Can’t wait for the next one…

  • I was on the third floor of the Jolly Giant Commons building at HSU when the earthquake hit. The plate glass windows were bowing in and out. People were screaming and diving under tables. The building rocked, but it is designed for that, so it was fine. One of the aftershocks woke us up in the dorms and a student from the East coast started screaming because she’d never been in an earthquake before and was terrified. The dorm was evacuated, then they let us back in. Fun times.

  • During the first quake in the day time, I was teaching in Arcata at the Humboldt Music Academy at Humboldt State University. When the shaking started, I gathered my students under the door frame and covered. Outside the trees were shaking and passerby’s were ducking and looking around acting like Godzilla was approaching.

    I was living in Fortuna for the two following night time earthquakes. Both felt and sounded like a freight train going through the house. At the end of the shaking there was a brilliant florescent green flash visible in the night sky. The ground continued to tremble for weeks.

  • I was on the phone talking when the first quake hit. We both screamed, the phone call disconnected, and the quake was over before I could hang up. We did not talk again the day. I heard on the radio that at the Red Cross office they wanted volunteers. I went an assembled bag lunches to be taken to Ferndale Fair Grounds for the emergency shelter. Humboldt Country folks took care of each other and few people showed up, ultimately most the food had to be destroyed.

  • I was in my Arcata office when the first quake hit, and remembered reading about standing under the door frame. I heard gasps and screams from an aerobics certification class next door. The instructor asked me if they should all go outside, but again, I recalled reading about possible downed power lines and suggested they wait it out. I decided to breach emergency etiquette to call my mother, who lives in the eastern U.S., and let her know she would likely hear about the earthquake on national news and that I was fine. When the second temblor occurred that evening I awoke to my bed bouncing across the floor. My roommate was terrified. When the third shook us again, she asked if we should sleep outside. Instead, we sat up and chatted to calm our nerves until the sun came up. Later we learned that a water main in front of our house had cracked. Water pooled on the street for a couple weeks before the city could fix it. For months afterward I was startled every time a door slammed. Memorable.

  • earthquake memories

    hell yeah! i was lying on the floor with my crutches by my side and i ran out of the house without my crutches, fucking hypochondriac!…

  • >”I lived. This quake taught me one thing. How fake all our news media is. We lost the overpass right in front of the Humboldt Country nuke plant. The news of the overpass going down right next to the nuke plant never got out of our area.”

    Eh? The ’92 earthquake didn’t knock the overpass down… the overpass went down in the late-night earthquake of ’80 I believe.

    News did go out though… we saw the overpass down on national teevee.

    2 tidal islands er… sunk in the bay during that ’80 earthquake… and that earthquake revealed that the fault went right under the nuclear power plant.
    Nuclear part was closed by that time… but the old gas steam plant was operational.

    FYI: Here’s a wikipedia page on the 1980 quake.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Eureka_earthquake

    In the ’92 quake I was in the garage getting some tools out of the toolbox.
    Hmm I thought… there is an earthquake.
    Next I thought… this is a big earthquake.
    Next I found myself out in the back yard… and riding the quake out like a surfer.

    Amazing noise. Trees shaking, ground shaking, car alarms, power poles were making about a 6 foot circle at the top. Shaking stopped… and then there was another big sound… thought something massive was going down… but it turned out that the sound of the quake was reflected back from the hills surrounding the bay.

    Third quake (at night) was (IMHO) the worst. The earth was groaning… everything going up and down during that one. After that 3rd one… I told the wife… one more and we are out of here.

    But I did see the earthquake lights during that last one… the western horizon was lit up blue-green lights.

    During the quake, the Sheriff dept had new emergency radios…
    however they didn’t work tho due to magnetic stuff from the quake.
    Ham radio people took up the slack.

    Interesting stuff to live through.

  • if i remember right , mom was in ferndale at the first annual something or other and along with her sister they ran out a door of someplace as the counter next to the door fell over . she told me on phone her car was parked around the corner in alley and other cars had bricks on them but not hers . she got home and all her nick nacks were on the floor . my brother called from eureka and said his oven walked across the floor but no damage .
    the next year i went to my 20th class reunion at scotia inn and their rooms still had no TVs .

  • 1st quake wife and I were traveling north on hwy 101 at the top of Beatrice Hill. Wife thought there was something wrong with the car. You got a flat tire pull over. As we both opened our car doors and looked down, the ground was moving and at the same time shouted earthquake. Still in shock, we continued on our shopping trip to the can food warehouse in Eureka. Along the way, we witnessed many drivers inspecting their car tires for flats on both sides of the freeway. Heads down and butts up. Near Herrick overhead was a driver some distance form her car looking at it like it was possessed. On Brodway we drove through Burger Time drive through to get around downed power lines. Got to warehouse, duh, it was closed. But Redwood Electronics doors were open. Inside the old wood floors and walls were creaking and moving, and every radio scanner they had was blaring out events from all first responders, caltrans, public works, fire, and more, as it was happening throughout Humboldt Co. We were fortunate to know what was happening, how bad it was, and how people were coming together. Stayed there the rest of the day.
    We made it home to Fortuna in time to be thrown out of bed by the next shaker and was sleeping in the yard with neighbors for the last one.

  • It had to be the weekend cause I was drinking some portueguese diesel with a couple of my Mexican friends from the mill when we looked at each other and old pancho had just shit himself up pretty terrible. I don’t know if it was the stench or the adreline of being in a panic like scared, helpless, emotion running through body, that made us go check on our families . It caused a lot of foundation issues for many folks , then again a lot of neat looking marbles and bottles were unearthed as well.

  • Fantastic article. I know people who live back East who refuse to set foot in California due to the threat of an earthquake. Funny: I won’t go there because of the threat of freezing or dying of sweating due to high humidity.

    • Wow, all amazingly vivid stories. Thank you guys now I’m extra sketched about earthquakes. I was born in 93 only been through a couple medium sized ones. Very funny and scary stories tho, thanks for that one Kym.

  • I was working at the McKinleyville airport… we had just had a very delayed departure, and if it had happened 30 minutes earlier, the airport would have been packed. As it was, only employees were around. We lost our phone lines, and our reservation center (I worked at Avis) could not get through to us- they just kept booking appointments for news crews, when we had very few vehicles ready to go. I was overwhelmed with renters later that afternoon when flights started landing. It amazes me that I have such a clear memory of that day!

  • Driving a VW Bug (vintage, even then) east on Briceland Road. Stopped just west of Shop Road to harvest some broom blooming there and wondered why it was so difficult to walk. Wobbly knees. Whitmore Grove had branches down, the store which became ShopSmart (but was still Murrishes, as I recall) had employees milling in the parking lot and looking in I saw that the aisles were filled with broken glass.
    It was a lesson they remembered for a few years – glass and heavy items on lower shelves…
    I was lucky with that first quake. If I hadn’t stopped, I’d have been rolling across that bridge at the bottom of Shop Road – when the shaking stopped, that was one of the first order retrofits…
    That first shake didn’t dislodge a thing in my kitchen – correction – it dislodged ONE thing in my kitchen.
    The next one through shook a LOT harder, I thought. I was nearer Briceland at the time, at home. THAT one shook from a different direction because it cleared all the shelves of my kitchen. Cleaned it up and went to bed to be wakened from a dream where I was telling someone it wasn’t a good time for a visit because we seemed to be having an earthquake.
    And we were.
    That shake dropped the brick and board bookshelves in the hall (these were un moved by the two before) but not until *after* my four year old son had run down the hall to tell me we were having another earthquake.
    I was lucky. My house might have been a bit out of plumb after those quakes, but my family (and the house) were still there.

  • I was 12 in 92, and we lived out in Freshwater. I remember my folks were out running errands, and I was home with our roommate.
    He was getting ready to go up onto the second story roof to clean his skylights. I was in the kitchen, and I remember being startled by a package of bagels jumping off of the fridge. I ducked into the doorway from the kitchen to the living room, and my dog came running out from the door across the room from me. We had a woodstove on a brick platform with a brick wall facade that was on the wall right next to me. The bricks on the wall were unanchored, so I remember a brick from the top flying across the room at my dog. He narrowly missed being squashed as the woodstove toppled over into the middle of the room with the bricks all atop it, and then would not leave my side for days. I apparently started screaming, because our roommate came running to me as soon as the shaking stopped.
    My folks came home very shortly thereafter and I remember my Mom mentioning how lucky we all were that it had been nice the lst couple of days, and we had let the fire go out so we could clean the chimney and woodstove.
    Our neighbor decided to check his chimney because they thought they saw a crack in the bricks at the roofline, and toppled his chimney into his yard, and septic tank.
    That night I didn’t want to go to sleep, but finally got to sleep around midnight. Ha ha, aftershock. Finally sleep again about 4. Ha ha, another aftershock. My Mom didn’t make me go back to sleep, she let me stay up and listen to the scanner and radio.
    I also remember going out near Petrolia weeks later (probably Memorial Day weekend while we were watching the end of the Kinetic Sculpture race, and were already out in Ferndale) and I distinctly remember the smell of the lifted tidal areas.
    Thanks everyone else for all the great stories!

  • When the 1st quake hit just after 11 am, I was still in bed at the start of a 4 day weekend. Since the house power was out, I went to my truck and listened to the ham radio/ and scanner radios, and volunteered to go to Cal-trans at Brae Cut to man their radios.

    About 5 pm they shut down their operations at Cal-Trans in Brae Cut, and I wound up at the Eureka Red Cross and volunteered with my truck and camper shell to deliver the sandwiches that were made by the poster (and others) up above. Luckily I have a public service pass to let me past the 2 CHP officers that were stopping traffic at the East end of Fernbridge by Humboldt Creamery/ John Deere dealer. After delivering the food and water to the temporary shelter set up at the County Fairgrounds in Ferndale, I eventually went back home after being released – since the responding folks were told not to return until the next morning.

    When the 2nd quake hit just after 12:30 am, I was on my ham radios in the house, and then responded to the Humboldt County O.E.S. (Office of Emergency Services) which is in an old Cold War Era bunker under the County Courthouse/ Sheriff’s Office parking lot off of 4th street to man the radios in the Command Center with a couple of ham radio operators down from Crescent City. When the 3rd quake hit around 4:30 am, I was underground and now know an earthworm feels being dug up.

    Luckily all that happened at my residence were several items that fell off of shelves with no broken glass to clean up.

    Of course emergency services (Federal, State, County, and Local) were busy for several days after the series of the 3 earthquakes on April 1992. Many important lessons were learned by the agencies and citizens involved during the emergency, which were incorporated into the current emergency response plan for another large earthquake.

  • It was the first (and last) ever “Wild West Days” in Ferndale. Right after the parade, when all the spectators were outside the buildings, the first quake hit. You could see the wave come down Main Street. All the building windows exploded out into the street and the people ended up in the middle of the street.
    Then it was over, and people were screaming, and the fire guys were right there of course, helping out. FEMA arrived in about an hour, they’d been having lunch at the Eureka Inn with the Mrs. Torbert of the Gingerbread Mansion. They arrived, planning on dealing with disaster, only to be offered BBQ and food at every twisted, bent house/business they stopped at, because people were outside making food until their houses could be checked for safety. A lot of the houses were straight off their foundations. The grocery store (same as in 1906) collapsed, but this time the bricks fell on cars, and smashed them up good, as you can see in the photo up there. There were huge sand blows and dropped bits in the bottoms… and then we had two more of those just like the first one, but perhaps not quite so long duration of shaking. By then everything on the house which was going to break had broke, so those last two were not so bad for me.

    Don’t ever pick up anything that falls over in a quake for at least a day, cuz otherwise you might be picking it right back up again. I wasn’t permanently scared by the quake, but some were. Mr. Hadley wore a silver hardhat every day from 1992 to present, and some people still have magnetic earthquake locks they have to shift every time they open their cabinets.

    Always fix your furniture to the walls… Don’t run right outside in a quake, the glass windows might not be done breaking. Make a plan with your family in case the cellphones don’t work. Etc.!! Thanks Kym for good memories!

  • earthquake memories

    so yeah i ran out of the house without my crutches after the First One.
    then the Second One came but i was prepared! i was sleeping downstairs and had put a flashlight on the side table next to me…of course with the first shake the flashlight was lost on the floor somewhere and and i felt my way out the door…
    for the Third One i wised up and left the lights on in the room and went to sleep on the couch, when it started shaking i said i’m over it, i’m just going to stay in the house, the the walls by the door started clattering and buckling and i thought okay, outta here again!…
    (i had a wooden fish on a shelf, it ended up on the shelf below it…?

  • The 1980 earthquake knock out the College of Redwoods overpass not the overpass by the power/nuclear plant one car drove off it and she didn’t survive

  • We were living up on Fickle Hill at time. The first jolt rattled the house pretty well and we checked out our water,septic and propane connections were fine. We did not lose the electric. The second quake was fairly strong but no damage. The third popped our kitchen counters off the walls about two feet and the large hexagon mirror that dear hubby had never gotten to securing to the wall toppled over into a gazillion shards od shiny bits and pieces.

    I went down to the Red Cross office in Eureka and ended up volunteering
    At the shelter there. I learned about the reasons why they have such
    A tight and cohesive chain of command after the shelter ended up with a semi load of canned water from Budweiser after an executive for the company saw someone say they had no water.

    The shelter did not need the water, but folks in the south county did. I got schooled quickly on logistics, shelter operations, media liaisons, and did a couple of stints at the OES operations desk at the county court house.

    Our family began to take emergency preparedness more realistically and seriously.

    Red Cross has tons of free preparation information on the net. You can take the basic entry level classes there as well.

    Remember that if you choose to donate after a local disaster put in the memo line on the check that your donation is for the local chapter, this keeps your donation here.

    I ended up volunteering for a good long while and found it to be both educational as well as a good opportunity to meet folks in communities around the region.

    Inexpensive basic preparedness will go a long way if you and your family face quakes, floods, wild land fires or man made disasters.

  • I sit at a bar in West Texas,
    thinking
    of all the things in West Texas that can
    hurt
    or kill you:
    Tornadoes,
    lightning,
    hail balls as big as softballs,
    hundred and twenty-seven degree heat,
    minus fifty degree cold,
    dust storms full of rocks blowing by at
    seventy miles per hour,
    twelve-foot rattlesnakes,
    scorpions,
    the women,
    the beer —
    when an old guy down the bar
    rouses up and says,
    I’d never live in California!
    Why not? I ask him, and he says,
    Earthquakes!

  • This is my biggest fear of living on the coast line. I was 4 when this quake hit. My mom screamed for me to come in the kitchen, and I recall it feeling like I was on the ocean as we sat, huddled under the big wood table. I let go of the fake plastic phone type toy I had in my hand, and watched it slide across the floor. I will be the first to admit, I have a bit of paranoia when it comes to these quakes and awaiting “the big one”. I think that roots from the fear I felt that day. There’s a lot of different advice going around and have no idea what is correct anymore. Do we get under tables? Stand in doorways? Go outside? I have my keys sitting on my window sill beside my bed because of this. I live in a VERY OLD two story house. My reaction would be to get out–but is that correct? If faced with a tsunami, wouldn’t communication be out–if so, how would anyone communicate with us on what to do? How big of a tsunami do those tsunami zone signs cover? They say you have 15-20mins from the time shaking starts, but how high is higher ground?

  • My girlfriend and I were at Candlestick for a Giants game. Got there early to watch bating practice. News was going around the stands that Humboldt County had been leveled from the quake. Stayed for the entire game but was hard to enjoy as we pondered what my house would look like when we arrived home. Arrived in the evening just in time to experience the aftershocks of 6.5. Been here all my life and never have felt my house shake that violently from side to side in Fortuna since.

  • I was on the damn toilet,I heard everybody running yelling get out,go,go. It knocked me off the damn toilet lol,I was yelling Wholly shit help!! I paid for that statement for awhile.💩

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