You’re watching Local Edition. I’m Brad Pomerance,
thank you for joining us. Our
guest is David Oglesby. David is a
professor at University of California in
Riverside and he is a specialist and
expert in earthquakes. I’m so glad you’re
I’ve grown up in California. I could
remember the earthquake of 1971,
the one of 2004, last
year in Chino Hills – 2008.
What I want to talk about today is
we think we’re prepared, but
in a lot of ways we are not.
[Oglesby] Well preparation is key because
earthquakes in Southern California and all over
California are inevitable. We cannot
So, what we can do is prepare ourselves for
them in the future. [Pomerance] Okay, let’s talk about
an average family. What can they do to
[Oglesby] Well, an average family can do things
like, for example, securing furniture to the
walls. The biggest danger in an
earthquake in Southern California is not
so much the collapse of your house, I mean
every once in a while something like that happens,
but it’s pretty rare.
The biggest danger is stuff falling on
you in your house.
So, you want to try and prevent that as much
So, bolting… bookshelves, wardrobes –
big heavy furniture to the wall. Securing
big heavy paintings to the wall with…
more earthquake safety
[Pomerance] If an earthquake hits –
I gotta be honest with you – I’m not exactly sure what
I’m supposed to do. Do I go into a
doorway and stand between the doorway? Do
I go under a bed? What do I do?
[Oglesby] The best thing to do is to drop,
cover and hold on. Those three
things; drop, cover and hold on. If an earthquake
happens right now – in this studio – I’m
going to go directly underneath this table.
I’m going to curl up. I’m going to
hold on to this table leg,
so that, if the shaking gets really bad,
the table will not get away from me.
That’s your best bet. Get underneath
something. Don’t try to go to a doorway
because – because while you’re trying to get to a doorway,
you’re not protected from falling
material. Plus, you’re typically sharing the doorway
with a door, and it might slap you around.
[Pomerance] Well, what if something falls on this table?
[Oglesby] Well, the table will at least slow it down.
You know this because there’s really –
you’re still better under the table than
you would be any place else. You know,
it’s not a guarantee of safety, of
course, but you’re still better off
getting underneath something sturdy. [Pomerance] Now,
what if you lived in near a
beach, because many of our viewers do.
They live in coastal communities. If an
earthquake hits what should they do?
[Oglesby] The general rules if that…
if your estimate of the ground shaking
is that it lasts more than about
20 seconds or so, then you should head for
high ground as quickly as possible.
safely, after the earthquake is over, try
to get at least a 100ft above the
beach. Now, in a lot of our coastal communities,
we have cliffs and things like that
so it makes it a little bit easier… Try to proceed
as rapidly as possible. We don’t
generate… you’re worried about tsunamis, of course.
We typically don’t generate huge tsunamis here. [Pomerance] Why?
[Oglesby] Well, the faults that would produce
the tsunamis are the ones that are
offshore, under underwater and those
faults are not gigantic… They’re not…
We cannot produce a tsunami as bad as,
for example, the Indian Ocean – Sumatra –
tsunami that happened… a
few years back. We couldn’t produce a tsunami
that big here, but we could produce a tsunami
of some significant size that could
threaten some local communities.
[Pomerance] I was speaking with someone recently, he’s a
Chinese seismologist, and he described,
a situation where with the Chinese
earthquake in 2008,
I believe… there were huge and massive
landslides, to the point that there
were some communities that were
literally buried. Everyone in that community
was buried alive.
Is that something that could happen in
[Oglesby] Well, we do certainly have some communities
that have experienced landslides in the
past, and as we build more and more into
our hills him into the
urban wild line interface,
we run the risk of landslides.
… I don’t know any committees that
are at risk of earthquake caused
landslides to that great degree, but there
are communities that where it
is a risk. [Pomerance] What do you think about the earthquake
kits that we see at the local big-box
[Oglesby] Oh, the earthquake kits that you see there?
Well, they are certainly
better than nothing. You can
start your own earthquake kit for
a lot cheaper, but if it’s easier
to go and buy one at the big box store, why not?
[Pomerance] In our final moments what should be in our
earthquake kit then?
[Oglesby] You should have food. You should have
flash – a flashlight with batteries…
Any kind of medicine that you
might need, basically… and
water especially. You want to be able to
survive for at least three days without
help. [Pomerance] OK, if you have to predict
where is the next earthquake in Southern
[Oglesby] I could not perdict. [Pomerance] Why not?
Come on! You’re supposed to be able to do that!
[Oglesby] That’s the one thing that seismologists
cannot do, I’m sorry. [Pomerance] Thank you so
much, David, for joining us here. From Local
Edition, I’m Brad Pomerance, back to
You’re watching Local Edition. I’m Brad Pomerance,