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Earthquakes and your farm - a primer!  RSS feed

 
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
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Two years ago we were shaken by an earthquake in Maine.....not a big one, but as a geologist I would tell you that Maine is NOT a place that gets a lot of quakes. I was asked by the local school to come the next day and talk about earthquakes and what people can do to be safe.

I thought that it might be good information for everyone to know...and what they can do on their homestead (or even when they are away in a more 'earthquake' zone).

Here it is: http://www.almostafarmer.com/earthquakes-and-your-farm/

Let me know what you think? Is this useful?

Gaz
www.almostafarmer.com
 
pollinator
Posts: 1126
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Good links and info.

My homestead is in an active earthquake zone. 2s and 3s are common. 4s and above only happen every couple years. Of course now that I've said that I hope we don't get a bunch of big rumblers just because I said they don't happen too often. In the future we anticipate getting a 7 or 8 since it is overdue. I just hope it puts it off for another 30 years.

I have our house set up to handle anything up to 6s. Pictures and mirrors are screwed to the wall. File cabinets, dressers, etc are secured to either the wall or the floor via screwed in L brackets. All shelves have edge lips or rails to prevent things from jittering off them. Everything gets stored with earthquake in mind, thus nothing set where it could fall over. Propane tanks are secured in place via chains. Catchment tanks were constructed on cement donuts. Tools are hung on deep hooks, not just a nail banged into the wall. Heavy tools go onto bottom shelves where falling won't damage them.

I've never been in a 7 or above, but I'm told that houses really do the hula. Big buildings can collapse. At 8, which my area may very well have again prior to Mauna Loa's next eruption, I'm told that people and animals cannot stand up and rock walls tumble apart. Even at a 6 some houses jump off their foundations, so I can only imagine what the damage to the house might be at an 8!

 
Gary Lewis
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
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Su Ba wrote:Good links and info.

My homestead is in an active earthquake zone. 2s and 3s are common. 4s and above only happen every couple years. Of course now that I've said that I hope we don't get a bunch of big rumblers just because I said they don't happen too often. In the future we anticipate getting a 7 or 8 since it is overdue. I just hope it puts it off for another 30 years.

I have our house set up to handle anything up to 6s. Pictures and mirrors are screwed to the wall. File cabinets, dressers, etc are secured to either the wall or the floor via screwed in L brackets. All shelves have edge lips or rails to prevent things from jittering off them. Everything gets stored with earthquake in mind, thus nothing set where it could fall over. Propane tanks are secured in place via chains. Catchment tanks were constructed on cement donuts. Tools are hung on deep hooks, not just a nail banged into the wall. Heavy tools go onto bottom shelves where falling won't damage them.

I've never been in a 7 or above, but I'm told that houses really do the hula. Big buildings can collapse. At 8, which my area may very well have again prior to Mauna Loa's next eruption, I'm told that people and animals cannot stand up and rock walls tumble apart. Even at a 6 some houses jump off their foundations, so I can only imagine what the damage to the house might be at an 8!



Hi Su Ba

I have been in two quake over 4.5....and both on the Big Island! I'm also been in volcanic tremor there - the whole place shook constantly for an hour during an eruption. I will be back on the Big Island in just two weeks...so maybe I will feel more! And yes, Mauna Loa is starting to show some signs on new activity.....

Sounds like you are well prepared...good for you!

Gaz
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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One of NZ's nicknames is 'the shaky isles'. I'm perched on some very youthful, exuberant geology!
Wellington like Su Ba's place, is overdue for 'the big one'-but it could show up tonight, or in 500 years...
Christchurch was always considered to be pretty 'safe'
but apparently there's a previously unknown fault line and there were two major quakes in 2010-2011.

Look up liquefaction
If your geology fits with that, avoid building around:
reclaimed land, drained swamp, close to waterways, an ancient river fan or what used to be beach but become 'land' when the last big one hit
(the last two are under my house)

Get a serious earthquake kit together. After the Christchurch earthquakes, people were queuing for water within hours.
I have over 200 liters of water in 20 liter containers, plus whatever's in my rain barrels.
And a lot of canned food, sleeping bag, propane, etc, etc
Don't get cans with pull tabs-in an earthquake, they're likely to burst.
On that note, I have two can openers and a multitool.
The last thing I want to be doing after an earthquake is trying to find my way into cans!

Don't rely on being able to eat food from your garden if you have sewerage pipes nearby-in Christchurch, entire suburbs were inundated with raw sewerage.

Get to know your neighbours

Have an escape plan, especially if you're on the coast

Then, don't worry-it's boring

Oh, and never, ever store heavy things above head height (you should've seen the mess at my aunt's from all the broken jars of fruit)
 
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