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BEFORE THE NEXT BIG EARTHQUAKE: New Handbook Offers Vital Tips to Bay Region Residents
Released: 9/16/2005 12:03:42 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Susan Garcia 1-click interview
Phone: 650-329-4668

Stephanie Hanna 1-click interview
Phone: 206-331-0335



A useful and perhaps life-saving new handbook is being released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country – Your Handbook for the Bay Region is a practical, informative guide for Bay Area residents on earthquake preparedness. Hurricane Katrina’s disastrous aftermath serves as a stark reminder that natural hazards can strike suddenly, putting millions of Americans in harm’s way and that preparedness is key to survival.

The handbook describes the likely impacts of future earthquakes in the Bay Area and gives seven important steps people should follow to prepare for, survive and recover from future earthquakes.

"The recent tragic disaster in the southeast underscores the necessity of being prepared. Quakes are inevitable in the Bay Area and will likely come without warning," USGS’ Dr Mary Lou Zoback said. "Our goal with this handbook is to motivate Bay Area citizens to take simple steps now to make their families, homes, schools and workplaces safer before the next quake or other disaster strikes."

The 32-page soft cover handbook was developed by a team lead by the USGS that included a wide array of Bay Area earthquake and emergency response experts (see list of contributors below). It is based on a publication designed by the USGS and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) following the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

"The American Red Cross will be working over the next three years to get more than one million additional families in the Bay Area prepared for a large earthquake. This handbook will play an important role in our training efforts," said Harold Brooks, CEO of the Red Cross Bay Area Chapter.

The USGS handbook is free and available both as a published product and online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/2005/15 (where paper copies of the handbook can be ordered). . A virtually identical version published separately and containing an earthquake mitigation products coupon is being distributed widely in the Bay region through home improvement stores in the region and as an insert in the Sunday, September 18 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"All Californians need to be made aware of earthquake hazards and how to survive them," said John Parrish, California State Geologist. "This handbook is a valuable primer for preparedness."

Free copies of the handbook are also available through the Bay Area chapter of the Red Cross by calling (510) 595-4459.

Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country is part of the 1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance effort to make the Bay region safer and more prepared for the next damaging earthquake. With assistance from over 200 member organizations, plans include translation of the handbook into Spanish, Chinese, and likely several other languages in the spring of 2006.

For more information about the 1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance and upcoming events to commemorate the Great Earthquake of 1906 visit http://1906centennial.org.


Bay Area Earthquake and Emergency Response experts (with contact info) that helped develop Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country—Your Handbook for living in the Bay Region

U.S. Geological Survey
Dr. Mary Lou Zoback (650) 329-4760

American Red Cross
Harold Brooks (415) 427-8108

Association of Bay Area Governments
Jeanne Perkins (510) 464-7934

California Earthquake Authority
Nancy Kincaid (916) 325-3800

California Geological Survey
Keith Knudsen (415) 904-5529

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Fred Turner (916) 263-0582

Federal Emergency Management Agency/Dept. of Homeland Security
Jeff Lusk (510) 627-7116

Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Rich Eisner (510) 286-0888

San Francisco Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security
Doug Sandy (415) 558-2763

Structural Engineers of Northern California
Patricia Coate (415) 309-2231

University of California, Berkeley
Peggy Hellweg (510) 642-8374


The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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