Earthquakes can strike faster than a New York minute – What to do when the ground shakes...
Nearly 75 percent of the U.S. could experience damaging earthquake shaking, including the possibility of damaging earthquakes along the northeastern United States. What should residents of the Big Apple – and other major metropolitan areas -- do if they feel the ground move beneath their feet?
New York City, with its towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, is probably not the first place people think of when they think about earthquakes. Yet, as surreal as it sounds, earthquakes do rattle New York on occasion and we’re not just talking about in hokey disaster movies. For example, on August 10, 1884, a magnitude 5.2 quake struck near Coney Island, shaking homes, crumbling chimneys, and leaving many confused by what had happened. Would people be any less baffled if a large earthquake struck the city today?
Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes strike without warning (with limited exceptions for a few West Coast states where ShakeAlert earthquake early warning is available), leaving little time for people to react. And since you can’t stop them, the best you can do is know they’re possible and how to respond if one occurs.
New York City is one of many major cities with a melting pot of cultures and with residents hailing from all corners of the globe, but it has also not traditionally been a place where residents are used to thinking about earthquake risks. To help bridge the gap, the USGS has released a new multilingual earthquake preparedness flyer aimed at showing folks that earthquakes exist in New York City and what to do if they feel the ground shake…drop, cover, and hold on!
Written in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Haitian Creole, and French, these handouts are useful for diverse communities around the U.S. with limited English proficiency. They are simple, informative, and easily shareable. After all, in the pursuit of public safety, knowledge is power. Now people can better understand what’s at stake and be prepared to weather any storm...or in this case, earthquake... that may come their way.
National Seismic Hazard Model
These earthquake preparedness flyers are a helpful introduction for residents new to the idea that an earthquake could strike in New York. A recent U.S. Geological Survey-led team of 50+ scientists and engineers found that nearly 75 percent of the U.S. could experience damaging earthquake shaking. This was one of several key findings from the team that developed the latest USGS National Seismic Hazard Model. Most people will be most interested in the color-coded map that pinpoints where damaging earthquakes are most likely to occur. The model behind the map was based on insights from seismic studies, historical geologic data, and the latest data-collection technologies.
Check out the map to learn more about the likelihood of an earthquake striking near you or read more about the seismic hazards the Nation faces in the press release linked below.
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