Most Americans can name only one fault line – the San Andreas Fault. Running nearly the entire length of California, this fault has the potential to unleash a devastating earthquake at any moment. But, do people really believe the big one is coming? Do you?
How do buildings keep their occupants safe in earthquakes? A well-enforced building code is a critical first step, but technology also plays a significant role. In part 1 of this series, we focused on one of the most popular methods to protect buildings from earthquake damage, base isolation. In this article, we will share more ways to keep buildings safe in earthquakes by describing innovative protective systems and how these technologies help buildings resist earthquakes.
The lessons learned from past earthquakes get incorporated into the building codes for all future structures. However, all of the structures built before that time are still at risk. Sometimes the government passes ordinances to fix structural deficiencies found in older buildings, but some people choose to be out of compliance. This is common with brick buildings. Is this allowed? How do I know if I live in an unsafe building?
Chimneys made of bricks are likely to fall during an earthquake. People often overlook this major weak spot. Your single-story wood-framed house may be safe during an earthquake, but if the brick chimney falls into the house or across your front yard, it could cause injuries.
As a PG&E customer, your electricity may be shut off if extreme fire danger conditions threaten a portion of the electric system serving your community. PG&E is implementing this precautionary measure, called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), to help reduce the risk of wildfires.
Extreme weather can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Therefore PG&E recommends being prepared for outages that could last longer than 48 hours. What does this mean for you and your disaster plan?