City Desk

How to Survive the Next D.C. Earthquake

Sure, the 3.6-magnitude earthquake this morning was the most powerful ever recorded in the D.C. area since the databases that keep track of such things were set up. That doesn't mean it'll be the last one! After all, this year has already seen two absurd snowstorms and several consecutive days of 100 degree heat, not to mention Albert Haynesworth's ludicrous contract demands; the actual apocalypse can't be far off.

So as a public service, City Paper presents the earthquake preparation tips the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency e-mailed out Friday morning. In a city where the building code doesn't really contemplate the possibility of serious seismic activity, this stuff may not be that helpful, but hey—it can't hurt. Stay safe! And remember, at the first sign of danger, hide under the desk:

Earthquake Preparation Information

At this time, there have not been any aftershocks to this morning’s 3.6 magnitude earthquake reported yet. However, in light of the fact that aftershocks remain a possibility, DC HSEMA wishes to remind citizens of the following protective actions that should be taken if another earthquake is felt:

During an earthquake if you are:

• Indoors:

  • Take cover under a desk, table, or bench.  If none is available, use an inside wall or doorway.
  • Stay away from windows, outside doors, walls, and anything that could shatter or fall on you.
  • If you’re sleeping, stay in bed and cover your head with a pillow. If your bed is under a heavy light fixture or you have a large mirror or painting over your headboard, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops. Most injuries during an earthquake occur when people enter or exit a structure.

• Outdoors:

  • Stay there and move away from buildings, streetlights, and overhead utility wires.

• In a Motor Vehicle:

  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped, watching for road and bridge damage.
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  • Rick Mangus

    Move to California!

  • Montana Miles

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it was the strongest quake to hit within 30 miles of D.C. since the agency began keeping records in 1974.

    Could it be that the tectonic plates underneath Washington D.C. are now being lubricated by the huge oil spill of the gulf?

    Plate tectonic movement is a major factor in earthquakes. Studies were done on plate tectonic movement in Colorado finding that the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was the most likely cause of earthquakes some time ago.

    The Arsenal at that time was pumping radio active fluids deep beneath the surface of the earth causing tectonic plates to slide and thereby earthquakes became frequent. When the pumping stopped the earthquakes subsided.

    Oil is a greater lubricating agent then radio active fluid.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Montana Miles', and your point being?