In the aftermath of Sunday’s Napa Valley earthquake, California’s State Heritage Emergency Partnership is functioning just as it should: the state cultural agencies are communicating, collaborating, and coordinating with each other and with the state Office of Emergency Management to ascertain damage to cultural institutions and historic sites and properties. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.
Although the magnitude 6.0 earthquake highlights California’s inescapable susceptibility to earthquakes, it’s important to remember that all 50 states and five US territories are at some risk for earthquakes. As a no-notice event (unlike a hurricane, for which there is advance notice), the best planning entails mitigation. FEMA has a number of resources to help organizations:
QuakeSmart is a FEMA National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) initiative to help businesses in at-risk earthquake communities implement earthquake mitigation actions. The QuakeSmart Toolkit (FEMA P-811) is available online.
Earthquake Safety at Work provides information on what businesses and organizations can do before, during, and after an earthquake. The activities described all fall under the preparedness umbrella.
The Directory of FEMA Earthquake Partners, updated in May 2014, provides contact information for more than 300 organizations and individuals involved in earthquake mitigation at the federal and state levels and in the non-governmental sector.
And if you’re still not convinced that earthquake mitigation works, watch the six-minute video Earthquake Mitigation Saves Lives. Hoyt Fields of Hearst Castle, the historic house museum and California State Park, and Jim Saunders, owner of a historic building in Paso Robles, CA, describe the earthquake mitigation activities they have undertaken to protect and preserve history.